Overall, 2015 was a pretty good year for the Boston restaurant scene, as a lot more dining spots opened than closed even after dire predictions of calamity following the horrible winter that we had. There were, however, some huge closings that did take place, including a few high-end restaurants along with cozy neighborhood pubs and more (and the “more” includes an entire food court). Some of the biggest names are included below:
Sandrine’s Bistro, Cambridge
This beloved French restaurant in Harvard Square shut down in March after declaring bankruptcy a few months earlier; the Holyoke Street space will not remain empty much longer, however, as Classic Restaurant Concepts (which operates the Asgard and the Kinsale) plans to open a new restaurant tentatively called En Boca there early next year.
Via Matta, Boston
A favorite among such celebrities as Jimmy Fallon, Billy Joel, and Mick Jagger for more than a decade, this upscale Italian restaurant at Park Plaza closed in late May, with owner Michael Schlow subsequently opening a new Greek dining spot called Doretta Taverna and Raw Bar within the space.
Prudential Center Food Court, Boston
While not technically “a” restaurant, this sprawling area within the Pru was a frequent stop for those who wanted quick, cheap food, and the food court did see its share of above-average over the years, including a location of the wonderful Chacarero. The entire food court closed in June to make way for Eataly, a massive Italian emporium from Mario Batali.
Hungry Mother, Cambridge
Easily one of the most stunning closings of 2015, owner Barry Maiden sent shock waves through the region when he announced that this award-winning Kendall Square restaurant would be closing in July. Maiden has since departed both the now-closed Hungry Mother and the nearby bar State Park, but his team hopes to open a new concept in the Hungry Mother space this spring.
James’s Gate, Jamaica Plain
A much-loved Irish pub with a crackling fireplace and one of the best pours of Guinness in the city, James’s Gate abruptly closed in early September with no reason given, and while rumors have been floating around about a possible reopening of the McBride Street watering hole, it remains dark and locked up to this day.
The Littlest Bar, Boston
A particularly sad closing for many, this old-school drinking spot had to leave its Broad Street space in September to make way for development, making this the second time that this has happened (the bar was also forced out of its original home on Province Street in 2006). It is not known if the Littlest Bar—which has been around since 1946—will seek to reopen again in a new spot this time around.
The Beachcomber, Quincy
This has been a tough stretch for music clubs, with T.T. the Bear’s, Church, and Copperfield’s all closing this year and Johnny D’s soon joining them, and the closing of this popular club by Wollaston Beach in September particularly stung, as it had been in business since the 1950s and may be torn down so a high-end restaurant can take its place.
Considered by some to be the best pizzeria in the Boston area, this sister spot to Area Four in Cambridge permanently shut down in November, three months after it had to vacate its Somerville Avenue space because of an electrical issue in the building. All is not lost, however, as there is talk that A4 could open elsewhere in the area, and another location at the Troy Boston apartment building in Boston’s South End is in the works.
One of Boston’s best-known restaurants is getting ready to close at the end of the year, with owner Ken Oringer deciding to expand Uni (which also resides in the Eliot Hotel in the Back Bay) into the space early next year. Clio has been known as a destination spot since opening in the late 1990s, featuring a mix of French and New American dishes in an elegant environment..
Medieval Manor, Boston
Part Middle Ages-themed musical comedy club and part eating/drinking spot, this combination theater/restaurant in the South End has been entertaining guests for more than 40 years, and now it is getting ready to close forever with a big farewell event on New Year’s Eve. There is talk that a similar type of theater place could be moving into the E Berkeley Street space, though nothing has been confirmed as of yet.