Barbara Lynch has closed most of her restaurants in Boston

Barbara Lynch has closed most of her restaurants in Boston

Boston chef Barbara Lynch, whom more than 20 employees accused of multiple forms of workplace abuse in a New York Times report last year, announced Friday that most of her restaurants had closed by the end of 2023.

These include its fine dining restaurant Menton, one of the city’s most prestigious destinations since its opening in 2010, and two others located in the same building in the Fort Point neighborhood: the elegant Sportello trattoria and the sophisticated Drink cocktail bar. The Butchery and Stir, both in the South End, also closed their doors.

Park n°9, the Beacon Hill institution on which his empire was built will remain in business, as will the seafood bar. B&G oysters and Ms. Lynch’s new project, the ruddera seasonal restaurant on the seafront near Gloucester, which open in June after two years of delay.

Around a hundred employees lost their jobs, according to a company press release. Barbara Lynch Collective. In a Zoom call Friday, the company’s new chief operating officer, Lorraine Tomlinson-Hall, who was hired after the Times report was published, called the remaining restaurants “stellar” and noted the hopes for expansion on the North Shore, where Ms. Lynch lives.

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

Acadia Real Estate Trusta New York-based investment firm, owns the Fort Point building, one of the neighborhood’s first luxury developments: along with Ms. Lynch’s three street-level restaurants, it contributed to the neighborhood’s gentrification long neglected in the South. Boston, where she grew up.

“Boston is no longer the same place where I opened seven restaurants over the last 25 years,” she wrote. “Properties have been flipped and flipped and landlords just want the rents that only national chains can afford. » Acadia Realty did not immediately respond to phone calls seeking comment.

Ms. Lynch’s statement did not mention the long-standing problems created by her alcohol abuse and her verbal and physical assaults on employees, which led to high staff turnover and were an open secret among workers of the Boston hotel industry.

After a long, difficult climb to the top since her difficult childhood in South Boston, the past few years have been a long, difficult fall for Ms. Lynch, one of the most famous women in American cuisine and one of the leading New England chefs since the 1990s.

At the height of her success, circa 2017, she received countless culinary awards, a best-selling memoir, and a spot on Time magazine’s annual Most Influential People list.

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David B.Otero

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