Several High-Profile Boston Restaurants Are Shutting Down

Several High-Profile Boston Restaurants Are Shutting Down

The new year starts with some tough news from the restaurant industry. Several popular restaurants have announced closures in recent days, including renowned Somali restaurant Tawakal Halal Cafe in East Boston and Southern-rooted breakfast and lunch spot Soleil in Roxbury.

Tawakal — whose chef-owner Yahya Noor was a 2023 James Beard semifinalist for “Best Chef: Northeast” — announced on social media that the East Boston location will open on Friday, Jan. 5, after five years of operation at its current location be closed.

“In 2018, we began this journey with a simple desire: to share the cuisine of our mothers and the flavors of our Somali heritage with you, our treasured friends who have become like family,” the announcement said. “We wanted to pass on the tastes and smells of our childhood to more people, without knowing the challenges of running a business. But through it all, our love for sharing our culture through food has never waned.”

The team hopes to relocate the restaurant in the future and will continue to sell its sought-after sambusas and flaky chapatis with hummus during weekday lunch hours at Tawakal’s satellite location in MIT’s Student Center. On Saturday, January 6, the East Boston restaurant will host a farewell gathering at 11 a.m. to “celebrate the connections we made, the stories we shared, and hold on to hope for the day.” where our paths will cross again,” says the announcement.

Soleil in Roxbury’s Nubian Square has also closed after five years, according to an announcement on the restaurant’s website. Chef and owner Cheryl Straughter is behind the neighborhood staple known for its excellent fried chicken, Louisiana po’ boys and other dishes with a Southern twist.

The restaurants are the latest in a string of prominent establishments to announce closures at the end of the year. Darryl’s Corner Bar & Kitchen, a restaurant and live music venue on the border of Roxbury and South End, closed after Dec. 31 for a major renovation and rebrand, with a return date not yet announced. Cobble, a tiny, perpetually booked eatery in Brookline, also closed to take a break year in 2024 to “explore new possibilities for Cobble and the future of what it means to eat out,” according to one Notice on the restaurant’s website. Meanwhile, owners Rachel Trudel and Emily Vena have opened Barlette, their quirky, BYOB cocktail bar on the restaurant’s ground floor.