Economy and closings [from Boston]
I really think this is just the beginning of a wave of closures--the places mentioned here, the Highland Cafe in Malden, Brown Sugar in the Fenway, and I'm still trying to find out if Rio in Arlington has officially closed (they were still locked up as of last night). I think that for some, the New Year's Eve snowstorm may have been the backbreaker, as so many people decided not to head out on this all-important night for restaurants.
You think BS in the Fenway was an economic decision? It was certainly packed at lunch time whenever I'd go, and I thought dinner but I'm not really around that much. I assumed something else came into play but really have no idea. I didn't know Reef had closed either. These things make me sad, even when it's stores like Tweeter and Circuit City going out of business.
I believe that the economy has played at least a partial role in Brown Sugar's imminent closing. There very well may be a bigger reason, but it's becoming clear that the economy is wreaking havoc on many, if not most, restaurants in the area.
I was talking an acquaintance who has owned a business in the center of a fairly prosperous community near Boston for more than two decades, and he said that every restaurant in the center of town got slammed from a lack of business over the summer, and few, if any of them have recovered from that. And about half of these places had been booming before the downturn, so if they are in trouble, I can only imagine how tough it will be for places that weren't exactly booming before the economy took a nosedive.