February 24, 2024


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Barbara Lynch has closed most of her restaurants in Boston

Barbara Lynch has closed most of her restaurants in Boston

Boston chef Barbara Lynch, whose more than 20 employees were accused of multiple forms of workplace abuse in a New York Times report last year, announced Friday that most of her restaurants have closed their doors at the end of 2023.

These include its upscale restaurant Menton, one of the city's hippest destinations since its opening in 2010, and two other restaurants in the same building in the Fort Point neighborhood: elegant Trattoria Sportello and a sophisticated cocktail bar. The Butcher Shop and Stair Shop, both in Southend, have also closed.

No. 9 Park, The Beacon Hill institution on which her empire was built will remain in business, as will the seafood bar B&G Oysters And Ms. Lynch's latest project, Ruddera seasonal waterfront restaurant in nearby Gloucester opened In June, after two years of delay.

About 100 employees lost their jobs, according to a company statement. Barbara Lynch Collection. On a Zoom call on Friday, Lauren Tomlinson Hall, the company's new chief operating officer, who was appointed after the Times report was published, described the remaining restaurants as “excellent” and pointed to hopes for expansion on the North Shore, where Ms. Lynch lives. Spirits.

In the statement, Ms. Lynch attributed the closures to “post-pandemic realities,” financial mismanagement by her former employees, and an “uncooperative landlord.”

Acadia Realty Trusta New York-based investment firm, owns the Fort Point Building, one of the neighborhood's first luxury projects: With Ms. Lynch's three restaurants at street level, it helped kick-start gentrification in the long-neglected area of ​​South Boston, where she grew up.

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“Boston is no longer the same place where I opened seven restaurants over the past 25 years,” she wrote. “Real estate has flipped and flipped, and landlords only want rents that only national chains can afford.” Acadia Realty did not immediately return phone calls seeking comment.

Ms. Lynch's statement made no mention of long-term problems caused by her alcohol abuse and verbal and physical attacks against employees, which led to high employee turnover and was an open secret among Boston's hospitality workers.

After a long and difficult rise to the top after a difficult childhood in South Boston, recent years have been a long and difficult fall for Ms. Lynch, one of the most famous women in American food, and a leading New England chef ever since. 1990s.

At the height of her success, around 2017, she earned countless culinary awards, a best-selling memoir, and a place on Time magazine's annual Most Influential People list.