If your favorite watering hole or restaurant closed, what would you remember most about it?
That’s the question we posed to Boston.com readers when we asked them to share their most cherished memories of Boston-area restaurants and bars that have shuttered during the pandemic. Responses flooded in, describing anniversary nights, birthday celebrations, brunches, solitary Christmases, and plenty of Red Sox games.
And we want to hear more. If there’s a memory you’d like to share with us about a now-closed restaurant or bar, fill out our form here or send an e-mail to [email protected]. But first, let’s take a trip down memory lane.
Submissions have been lightly edited for length and clarity.
“Did the beer mug challenge there a few years back, fun hanging out with friends drinking and being exposed to various beers.” – Anonymous
“Some of the most important places in my entire adult life have closed. I played my very first show as the singer of a shoegaze band at Great Scott 15 years ago. I saw Telefon Tel Aviv there 11 years ago. I begrudgingly accompanied college friends to the Pour House and Whiskey’s (and much more happily so to Lir and McGreevy’s). I had some amazing food at Cuchi Cuchi and swore the next time I got to go back, I’d finally muster the courage to dress up. My husband and I had one of our first dates at Bukowski’s at Inman Sq (and many more at the one in Back Bay!), and after I moved to LA, whenever I’d come back, we’d always go to Slumbrew. It hurts so much that so many of the places where I spent the best and worst times of my life won’t be there when I come back to visit. I’m so sorry for the owners who had to close up shop, and I thank you for some of the best meals, beer, spots to puke, and places to fall in and out of love I’ve ever had.” – Kay
Closing announced: August 3
“Bull McCabe’s had been a staple in Union Square. Me and my roommates went to their funk night on Wednesdays almost every week, always an awesome way to break up a mundane work week. If we were feeling like a really late weeknight, we’d hop over to Thunder Road to see Barely Dead jam till the wee hours of the morning. Both of them were important cultural institutions and will be sorely missed.” – John F.
Closing announced: August 31
“Great for the family or for work events. Brunch was a delight with friends!” – John S.
“Best chicken parm in the city. Sorry North End establishments. I think this closing was mostly due to a flood in the South End. Still, gotta imagine COVID didn’t help with any potential plans to reopen. What a gem.” – Paul Grüte
Closing announced: July 10
“So many have sadly closed, but I was absolutely gutted and heartbroken when Cuchi Cuchi closed. So many fun times there with friends after work. The staff was always warm and inviting and full of energy. Had many a birthday celebration there and rang in the New Years there and late night dancing. It was one of the few places in the city for me [that] felt like a second home. Such a unique place — it will very truly be missed.” – Chrystal McDonald
“Cuchi Cuchi in Cambridge was my all-time favorite restaurant in the Boston area. From the creative and original and fanciful decor, to the amazing dresses worn by the staff, to the superb service and the delicious and varied tapas style dishes, it was a really fun and special place to go celebrate birthdays and other events. I was planning to go there on my birthday in March of 2020, but of course was very disappointed when I couldn’t. Then I was devastated to learn of its permanent closing later on. I will miss it so much. My favorite memory was the time my partner and a friend went there for dinner, and ordered two cocktails each and way too much food. I actually felt sick afterwards, but we had such a great meal and so much fun!!” – Grant Rockett
“Cuchi Cuchi was a go-to for a girls night, an out of town visitor, a birthday — in fact, without even knowing that it was my favorite place, my best friend from out of state chose it for dinner for my bachelorette party years ago.” – Ktrain
“First date and first kiss with my then-boyfriend, many career and friendship milestones, and a couple of weepy moments after one-too many Dancing With Ginger cocktails. Every big milestone of my 20s and my life in Boston (and Cambridge) were celebrated and talked about at Cuchi. The pandemic is partially to blame, but I cried for a good 20 minutes when I heard it closed, and the now ex-boyfriend turned good friend was equally sad when I told him.” – Grace B.
Closing announced: May 18
“About 10 years ago, a day or two before Christmas, I had just dropped my girlfriend (now wife) off at Logan so she could fly home to see her family. That meant a lonely couple days and a mostly-solitary Christmas holiday, and I was bummed about that. On my way home from the airport, I stopped into Deep Ellum for a beer and some food (and to complain about said solitary Christmas), and I started talking beer with the woman behind the bar. I forget her name now, but she was there for years, and Deep Ellum regulars will know who I’m talking about. After some back and forth, and some testing of my beer acumen (and complaints about said solitary Christmas), I think I proved that I know my beer. I mentioned that I’d recently visited one of my favorite breweries in Santa Rosa, Calif., and I could immediately see her perk up a bit. She said she had something that might brighten my spirits, and quickly walked to the other end of the bar, reached underneath and pulled out a rare beer from the brewery I’d mentioned, which at the time didn’t ship outside of California and the Pacific Northwest (they still mostly don’t). For a beer geek, this was [a] gem of a find, or in beer parlance, a “whale.” It made my day, and it’s probably my fondest memory of Deep Ellum, a bar in which I drained many beer glasses and one I’ll dearly miss.” – Al Sacco
Closing announced: May 30
“My mom took me to Dick’s last resort for my 13th birthday and it became a tradition! I’m really sad to see it go! Whenever I had an out of state or out of Boston area friend visit, Dick’s was [on] the list. (Ps I’m 34 now.)” – Amy
Closing announced: August 3
“This was one of the first establishments, if not the first, I visited when I moved to Boston back in 2006. Since then I’ve been a semi-regular at O’Leary’s, visiting the pub several times a year even after moving out to Arlington. It was my favorite spot for a perfectly cooked burger, shepherd’s pie, a pint of Guinness, and a glass of Irish whiskey. Very unhappy that it permanently closed.” – Alessandro G. Bonis
Closing announced: June 21
“It was great to get Pizzeria Regina for the family without having to deal with the North End. We had a lot of the kids’ birthday meals there, waitstaff was always nice to the family. Parents could have a drink while kids [who] stuffed their faces were quiet.” – Anonymous
Closing announced: July 20
“My now husband and I went to Post 390 at the end of one of our very first dates together. I had their truffle fries and they were so delicious that we went back almost weekly just to have a few drinks, eat fries, and catch up. As our relationship grew we found ourselves getting to know the bartenders there and ventured to adding their amazing charcuterie selections to our french fry orders. We went there so frequently over three years that we decided to hold our rehearsal dinner for our wedding there this past fall 2019. Our one year anniversary is coming up and we were discussing staying a night at the Fairmont where we were married and having dinner at Post 390, as we had optimism they would be open by then. We are so sad to hear the news that they have permanently closed and wish all of the employees the best of luck on their new ventures. Post 390 will always have a special place in mine and my husband’s heart!” – Chelsea McCarthy
Closing announced: September 25
“We had several family celebrations at this restaurant, and we had been going there for years. So sad to see it close!” – Jackie M.
Closing announced: August 14
“South Shore equivalent of Cheers, friendly, affordable, comfortable, and everybody did know your name! Almost 40 years of friends and families, so sad!” – Linda Montero
“Good food at moderate prices. Local spot been around for 40 years. Always meet a friend or neighbor when we stopped in. Really miss it.” – Ellen M. Autio
Closing announced: August 7
“My wife and I met at a speed dating event at Stella (which was Dalia back then). We would go back periodically to remember the moment when we met. We were married 14 years ago yesterday.” – Heather Mcgowan
Closing announced: May 15
“Stellina in Watertown Square has been a local favorite for 34 years, featuring Northern Italian food…The food was fabulous, and I went there for many dinners with friends and out of town visitors, to celebrate birthdays and other special occasions, and for many New Year’s Eves. They also hosted lovely wine tasting dinners, author’s nights, and opera nights. Stellina’s closing is a loss to Watertown and to Boston’s restaurant community. I will really miss it.” – Carol Griffin
“Stellina in Watertown was a true hidden gem. The Italian restaurant offered some of the best food outside the North End and yet never let its success get to its head. I will miss dining outside on the patio in the summer.” – Alain Chinca
Closing announced: August 17
“Stoddard’s on Temple Place in Downtown Crossing was one of the original craft cocktail and beer bars in the city. It kept history of the building going by keeping the name of the previous occupant, Stoddard’s Cutlery. You can’t recreate history after you destroy it.” – Don MacPherson
Closing announced: October 6
“My now wife and I had one of our first dates at Tango. We ate dinner, then went to Skyline Park, which wound up being the best date night we ever had. We would continue to have many dinners at Tango and it even inspired my then girlfriend to travel to Argentina. The night I asked her to marry me we had an amazing dinner at Tango then I proposed at Skyline Park. Our goal was to make this a tradition going forward. Unfortunately it ended after only getting one anniversary in before the pandemic.” – Jon W.
Closing announced: June 22
“Wouldn’t go so far as to say The Fours was my favorite restaurant, but its closing seemed to particularly hurt. Of all the places in that area, it was the go-to. Whether for something going on at the Garden or just a lazy afternoon/evening watching a game on TV, The Fours always delivered. I used to have an after party there the day of the Corporate Challenge road race and the staff was always the best. Before that area lost its soul, The Fours was a rock-solid hanging and dining destination and remained that way until they shuttered it. I know they still have two other locations but it’s not the same. Just a shame for one of the city’s true gems.” – Eddie C.
“The best restaurant to meet people and just to go by yourself if uncomfortable going out alone…ever since the grill was in the front window…and the bar was a little smaller. It was a true family and they made you feel welcome, from the locals to the commuters to the sports fans. Thank you for all the wonderful memories…very sad to see this go.” – Deborah Laughlin McGovern
“Just tremendous memories being there before and after B’s and C’s games and Beanpots as a son with my father, as a father with my sons, as a student, and as an alumnus.” – Steve F.
Closing announced: August 31
“Great place to go before and after a Red Sox game, lotsa TVs, reasonably priced food. Sorry to see it go, went there when I was in college at BU, a long time fixture in Kenmore Square.” – Robert Imperato
“Our go-to spot for a college theater cast to push tables together post show.” – Scott Gagnon
Closing announced: August 15