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Mar 28, 2008 01:15 PM


Just received this email from the folks at Grotto - they've purchased the Marliave and are hoping to reopen in the Spring - take a read:

Greeting from Grotto,

Restoring a Tradition

A year and a half ago, one of Boston dining landmarks was closed down. The Marliave had operated at 10 Bosworth Street for over 120 years. The restaurant was purchased early last year, and last summer, while strolling through downtown, I saw a small for rent sign in the upstairs window. I have now taken over the Marliave ( and have begun restoring dining landmark. The Marliave will reopen this spring, and will feature two dining rooms and an oyster bar. The menus will reflect the history of the establishment, which has operated as a French, Italian, and New England restaurant, and even as a Speakeasy and illegal distillery (liquor and label print equipment was seized many times during prohibition). We are respectfully restoring this beautiful restaurant to retain its vintage design such as repairing the original tin ceilings and walls, installing a vintage marble bar and oyster bar, refinishing wood floors, repairing mosaic floors, and are doing our best to retain classic details down to the black and white color scheme. Grotto will keep you posted as opening day arrives, and hope to see you there.

Thank you,

The Owners & Staff of Grotto

The website ( offers some insight into the menu: "The Marliave will open with two classic dining options: The Upstairs affords its famous view and serves classic continental cuisine such as butter-poached lobster, Beef Wellington, and halibut baked in a salt crust. The Downstairs, harkens back to Marliave’s bootlegging days serving classic prohibition-era cocktails and updated versions of the classic dishes you would have found at the Marliave a century ago, such as Yankee pot roast, Welsh rarebits, and freshly shucked oysters."


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  1. Yeah, I received that email, too. I was going to post a note about it awhile ago, but I was doing a Papelbon dance in the hallway for about 25 minutes in response to it. What a great way to end the week, getting news like this. I can't wait to see what they do with the place.

    3 Replies
    1. re: hiddenboston

      ooh, that sounds like a rave review! I got Grotto's email and have been wondering! HiddenBoston, tell me more about the original?

      1. re: iamsam

        Well, the food at the original was.....ok. Nothing special, basically an old-school Italian joint in the heart of downtown Boston. The atmosphere was really neat, though--as someone said in response to my blog link on Universal Hub, it looked a bit like the restaurant where Michael Corleone shot the cop and the mobster in The Godfather. The building has loads of history and character, and the restaurant was kind of an oasis in the heart of the city, though again, it wasn't really about the food.

        What makes me so excited is the fact that now the place might have both the food and the atmosphere to make it a really special place. But we won't know until they open, I guess, so maybe for now I'll be cautiously optimistic about the new Marliave...

        1. re: hiddenboston

          Cautiously optimistic, but really quite excited, truth to tell. I've lived in the Boston area for the better part of 40 years, and was never really impressed by the Marliave, but loved the space and wished so fervently that the food would be better. . .

    2. I am so happy to hear this. I can't wait to go back. I loved the Old World atmosphere and service. I liked the food, too (although I realize that is a minority opinion here). The plans for the place sound pretty cool.

      1. With all the construction going on there, I had assumed the whole place had been torn down and was gone forever. Now, looks like it's resurrected!. That IS good news. Guess it's too much to expect a few Italian menu entrees just for old time sakes. Anyway, glad to see it happening in a place I thought had been torn down.