Restaurants

‘I’m burnt out’: Owner announces Domenic’s in the North End has closed

"With the pandemic, I started smelling the roses, the coffee, looking at the sky," chef and owner Damien DiPaola said.

People gather at cafe tables placed in the closed parking lane on Hanover Street in the North End. AP Photo/Michael Dwyer

In a five-minute video posted to Instagram Tuesday, Damien DiPaola announced that his North End restaurant Domenic’s will permanently close.

DiPaola, who also owns Carmelina’s in the North End, cited both the pandemic and a new perspective on life as the reasons for its closure.

“I opened Domenic’s about seven or eight months before the pandemic, and we had good momentum — the place was doing well,” DiPaola said. “Once the pandemic hit and all the restrictions came in, it was really tough when we reopened.”

DiPaola said that while Carmelina’s “had a good track record” and “fought the fight,” Domenic’s, which specialized in Southern Italian cuisine, did not do as well. He also shared that the pandemic prompted a personal awakening.

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“I’ve been doing this for such a long time, a really long time, and I’ve decided that it’s time for me to start enjoying life a little more, to take it easy and to avoid the stress of the restaurant business,” he said. “With the pandemic, I started smelling the roses, the coffee, looking at the sky. Looking at everything, flowers, and just really having an appreciation for life. … So I’m just going to concentrate and focus on enjoying life, maybe doing some consulting. But I’m burnt out. The restaurants burn you out.”

DiPaola emphasized that Carmelina’s will remain open, equating the restaurant to a family member. He said that he’s sorry to have closed Domenic’s, but that “it’s time to move on and enjoy a little bit.”

“I’ve been doing this for a long time — I’m not a kid,” he said. “Be smart, and realize that we’re not on this earth forever, that our time does come. Whereas I felt immortal for many years, you start to realize mortality. And when you realize mortality, that’s when you start seeing everything differently, and start enjoying life.”

Watch the full announcement below:

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