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Caffe Umbra

Is it closing???

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  1. Why do you ask? It seems quite busy most nights, though every South End restaurant is a little slower in the summer.

    1. Had dinner there Friday. Food great. Menu change with grat small plate choices. No word of closing, but the place was virtually empty. Why is it that, while other Wahington Street restaurants like Pho, Union, Stella and Toro are booming, Umbra remains almost unknown? Food is great. Bar used to boom, What do they need to do?

      1. I ask b/c there is a lot of gossip going around. I should just ask Laura! I agree the food is great at Umbra - maybe it's the bartender - debby downer!

        1. It's a tough spot I think, you don't see it unless you know what you're looking for.

          I hope it doesn't close, I'm gonna make it a point to get there in the next week or so.

          1. Since Joe the bartender left, it hasn't been the same. I heard rumours he might come back (not sure in what capacity) but I haven't seen him there yet. Service just isn't what it used to be. Hope they can turn it around because they're a great neighborhood place.

            1. we went there a few weeks ago. both ordered burgers, medium rare, sat at the bar. burgers came out, one was medium other was medium well-- not sure how that can happen.. if the order is put in the same time, shouldn't the burger come out the same temp?? anyway, i found the bartender sorta rude. when i asked for the dessert menu, he looked at me and said "WOW. You sure you want dessert?" I was pretty much flabbergasted at the comment and found him to be standoffish from the get go. Laura was there, chattin' it up with some regulars. I sorta think that if the chef is gonna gab, her food/service better be spot on. I won't be returning anytime soon.

              1. Went twice, first had a fantastic meal and the second time a few months later (last winter/spring?) the meal was just okay (most memorable item was the martini). Given the trek in from the N.Shore and the prices I feel that consistency is the key for ANY restaurant and this put me off. With so many other choices, I won't go back anytime soon...perhaps given the lack of patrons others share my opinion??

                1 Reply
                1. re: 4chowpups

                  I don't think their business is suffering that much beyond the usual summer drop-off; I walked by last night and it was quite full in both the bar and the dining room, no doubt helped by an extended Restaurant Week menu.

                  But I certainly agree that the loss of Joe C at the bar was a huge one for us. The current bartenders (and there seems to be a different one every night of the week) are highly variable in quality, both in their shaker chops and their food service skills. I have found the kitchen to be very consistent, but not having the old 100% experience I'm accustomed to at the bar has hugely damped its appeal to me.

                2. I thought I read Joe C was coming back? In fact, I'm almost positive that Laura Brennan mentioned that in her email blast she sent out about the extended restaurant week menu. He's there one night either this week or next, I believe.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: twentyoystahs

                    Joe has been waiting on tables. I believe Laura's e mail said he will be back behind the bar on Thursday Sept 7th. The items we tried from the small plates menu were excellent.

                  2. I live in the area and walk by often .it looks like it,s closed already. never anyone in side including the staff.perhaps the next owner will make this space work

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: barsitter

                      So is it actually closed now, or will it be closed at the end of the year? Has anyone been there over the past few days?

                      Their Web site has no info on their closing...

                      1. enter umbra in the search and read on

                        1. I just read in today's Herald in the business section that Anthony Susi of Sage bought Caffe Umbra and I guess he will open another Sage


                          1. Thanks for the headsup csifitgirl!
                            Here's my attempt at pasting in the full URL...