Todd English confirmed Friday he has closed his Charlestown restaurant Olives and plans to reopen it elsewhere in Greater Boston. The announcement came amid rampant speculation about the celebrity chef’s signature eatery, which reopened last year after a fire badly damaged the kitchen.
In recent days, passersby noticed the windows at Olives had been covered with brown paper, the sign was removed, and a note posted on the door saying: “The premises is closed until further notice.” “Charlestown is and will always have a special place in my heart. It is with sadness that I will be leaving this neighborhood. We have been here since 1989 and so many wonderful memories are tied to this place,” English said in a statement. “But with the incredible way America’s culinary landscape has been evolving, I have decided that Olives — my first and signature restaurant — must also evolve.”
Opened in 1989, Olives was English’s first restaurant. He now operates close to a dozen, including Olives locations in New York, Las Vegas, and Mexico City. He did not say where in Greater Boston the restaurant will reopen, but revealed that his son Oliver will be involved in the new venture.
There had been a rumor in April that Olives was closing, but English issued a statement at that time saying it was an April Fool’s joke. English and the restaurant both have had ups and downs. The grease fire in 2010 badly damaged the kitchen and the restaurant was shuttered for two years. When the glass doors finally reopened, reviews of the revamped menu were mixed.