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Somerville’s Kirkland Tap & Trotter restaurant shuts down

Tony Maws (left) opened Kirkland Tap & Trotter six years ago.
Tony Maws (left) opened Kirkland Tap & Trotter six years ago.(Globe Staff/File 2013)

Somerville restaurant Kirkland Tap & Trotter is closing Saturday night after six years of business, the restaurant announced on its Facebook page.

“Someday perhaps I’ll be able to offer an explanation,” owner and chef Tony Maws wrote on Instagram. “For now I’m just reflecting . . . hard to grasp.”

The Washington Street restaurant, which served a wide array of chicken, burgers, and beers, among other food and drink, has been a popular destination among locals, many of whom were surprised by the sudden closure. On Tuesday, the Globe had recommended it as a place to bring children out to eat over summer vacation.

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Maws didn’t want to give a reason for the restaurant’s closure in a brief phone interview Saturday, but said customer response has been “heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time.”

Owning a restaurant is “complicated and challenging,” Maws said, but he was proud to turn Kirkland into a gathering place that appealed to all types of people.

“They came out to celebrate the moments, the big moments, the small moments, the challenges,” he said. “It’s always been a special place.”

Friday and Saturday night, he said, “are really about a celebration of six years that were phenomenal . . . educational, emotional.”

The restaurant would serve meals Saturday night, he said, until the kitchen closes at 10 p.m.

Distraught fans of the restaurant voiced their shock and unhappiness on Kirkland’s Facebook post, which went up on Friday.

“This is sad to hear. What an amazing place to work and learn,” commented one man, whose Facebook profile identified him as a former employee of the restaurant. “Real food made with love and care to be as delicious as possible.”

Maws, who also owns Craigie on Main in Cambridge and Craigie Burger in the Fenway’s new Time Out Market, expressed some frustration with the local restaurant industry in an interview with the Globe in April.

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“People don’t want me to raise my prices on my menu. They’ll go berserk: ‘Why is your chicken expensive?’” Maws said, while talking about wanting to pay a higher minimum wage. “Also, we can’t raise our prices because there are too many restaurants, and competition is out of whack. I spend more time operating than cooking, and that’s not what I want.”


Kellen Browning can be reached at kellen.browning@globe.com, or on Twitter at @kellen_browning.