During the coronavirus pandemic, restaurant owners have made the tough decision to either close their businesses or stay open, and hope they can get through the colder months for takeout and indoor use.
In late autumn, however, a third option emerged: hibernation, during which a restaurant is temporarily closed in the hope of reopening when the weather is warmer or the world is safer.
Emory “Andy” Kilgore, whose downtown restaurant, The Emory, is closed but hopes to reopen in the spring, told Boston.com in October that he had no choice.
“Our business is probably 70 percent tourism, financial district [workers and residents]and State House [employees], “he said.” None of this exists right now. Our sales were maybe a third of our sales before COVID-19. When we had [PPP money] We were fine with paying the payroll, but once that was up we just had no choice. We would just fail. “
Kilgore said they were able to negotiate with their landlord and that he hoped to reopen The Emory when the warm weather returns – and with the help of federal aid, which he believes they will “sooner than sooner “will come.
Michael Serpa also hibernated all three of his restaurants – Grand Tour, Atlántico, and Select Oyster Bar – and planned to reopen in the spring.
“Now you have a lot of employees or even just a few employees [if you open]”You don’t know how busy you are going to be, you have products, you have some kind of waste, you have to pay for bed linen and trash,” he said. “So the risk is that you can open and lose more money than just being closed. At this point, it just doesn’t make much sense to be open-minded. “
Whether open, closed or somewhere in between, there is no question that gastronomy has problems in this particularly difficult winter. And what happens in the colder months is likely to have an impact on the Boston dining scene in the years to come.
“The structure of our community consists mostly of restaurants and bars, and mostly small, family-owned towns that give the city the personality it took decades to build,” said Kilgore. “I really hope that in this politically uncertain time, cooler heads can prevail and that there is a good package that comes together not only for restaurants, but for everyone in the hotel industry and for people who are currently suffering and losing living space. These are hard times. I just hope the structure of the restaurant community stays solid so that our cities can retain their personality and backbone and we don’t end up with a bunch of company seats. “
Added on February 16:
Here are some of the newest restaurants that have announced they will close for winter and return in spring:
Lobstah on a Roll (South End)
The Columbus Ave. location of this local lobster bun has been shared on the South End Community Board’s Facebook group, which has decided to temporarily close effective February 1st. “We’d like to thank everyone for their support over the past three years and especially during this National Nightmare,” the restaurant wrote. “It is our sincerest hope to get Columbus Ave. back and toss the buns out in time for spring.” The company’s Newbury Street location is still open for collection and delivery.
Below is an ongoing list of restaurants that have announced that they will be hibernating for the winter and returning in the spring:
A & B kitchen + bar
Alpine restaurant group – The painted burro, Rosebud, Osteria Posto
Beantown Pastrami Co..
Cask ‘n Flagon
Daddy Jones Bar
Dos Diablos Taco Bar
Fenway Johnnies / West End Johnnies
Guy Fieris Tequila Cocina
Hawkeye Hospitality – Elm Street Taproom, Five Horse Tavern, Worden Hall
Lamplighter Brewing Co.
Milk Street Cafe
Science Miracle Bar + Grill
Night Shift Brewing (Lovejoy Wharf)
OAK Long Bar + Kitchen
Orinoco (Brookline Village, Harvard Square)
Rail Stop Restaurant & Bar
Choose Oyster Bar
Spoke wine bar
State Street Regulations
Summer Hut (Back Bay)
Allston the horse
The Lansdowne Pub
Time out market
Trillium Brewing Co.
Two holy tavern
Ainslie Cromar contributed to the coverage.
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