After nearly a decade of feeding hungry college students, the UBurger restaurant in Boston University’s West Campus closed its doors for the last time Sunday.
“It’s bittersweet. I’m going to miss a lot of the kids that came in,” said Jim Chen, the location’s manager for about six years. “I’m sure it will be missed by a lot of students.”
The closure comes on the heels of a rent increase in July that made running the restaurant at 1022 Commonwealth Ave. unviable.
“Compared to what the lease was prior, it was just too expensive, which seems to be the trend in the city to begin with,” said Nick Kesaris, co-owner of the Boston-area burger chain. “The market in this city is just so saturated now.”
But the UBurger locations in Kenmore Square and Northeastern University will remain open. The Andover location is expected to reopen around Nov. 15, after it was temporarily shuttered in September following the Merrimack Valley gas explosions, Kesaris said.
Some of the Commonwealth Avenue location’s employees have found alternative work, but others, including Chen, will be transferred to the Andover location. Some of the equipment from the closed restaurant will also be moved to Andover to replace any that was potentially damaged during the over-pressurization incident, Kesaris said.
The pilot lights on the Andover equipment started shooting out flames when the excess gas leaked into the restaurant, Kesaris said.
The BU location’s closure marks the beginning of a new era for UBurger, which is focusing on getting the Andover restaurant ready for opening day while also looking to expand with a fourth burger joint, also outside of Boston, Kesaris said.
And although the Kenmore location is just steps away from the nearest BU East Campus building, many BU students will mourn the loss of the West Campus food staple.
“We saw a lot of the same people over the years,” Chen said. “I’ve seen freshmen that come in, and then they come in on their graduation day and say, ‘Oh I’m going to miss this place.’”