Boston Restaurateur Barbara Lynch Is Closing Down Sportello, Drink, and Menton


Chef and restaurateur Barbara Lynch, who confronted scrutiny within the final 12 months when allegations that she harassed employees at her eating places grew to become public, introduced at present, January 5, that she is closing down the vast majority of her eating places in Boston. Lynch’s restaurant group, the Barbara Lynch Collective, cited lease will increase and failed landlord negotiations as major causes for the closures in a press launch.

Superb eating vacation spot Menton, Italian restaurant Sportello, and seminal cocktail bar Drink are closed, efficient instantly, in accordance with the discharge. Two extra Lynch spots which have already been closed, Stir and the Butcher Store within the South Finish, are being offered to 2 unnamed “former protégés.” Lynch is hanging on to Beacon Hill mainstay No. 9 Park, seafood spot B&G Oysters within the South Finish, and her latest restaurant, the Rudder, in Gloucester, which opened final 12 months.

The restaurant group’s chief working officer, Lorraine Tomlinson-Corridor, who was employed final September to assist stabilize the corporate, pinned the closures on rising rents, rigid landlords at Acadia Actuality, and alleged missteps by “prior restaurant operational managers” who “had failed to reply to post-pandemic realities,” in accordance with the discharge.

“We’re past dissatisfied that Acadia apparently would relatively pressure out long-term tenants paying over market charges and push 100 individuals out of labor as a result of they assume they’ll get Seaport District charges,” Tomlinson-Corridor stated in a press release. “We’ve executed every part potential to keep away from placing these artistic, devoted, hard-working individuals out of jobs, however had no alternative when a working resolution with the owner wasn’t ‘agreeable’ to them.”

The restaurant group has additionally been beneath hearth over the previous 12 months because of Lynch’s alleged management failings. The New York Instances and the Boston Globe revealed separate investigations final spring during which over a dozen staff alleged that Lynch had displayed bodily and verbally aggressive habits towards employees in her eating places for years, together with on the now-closed Menton, Drink, and the Butcher Store. Lynch denied the allegations on the time the studies have been revealed. Lynch was additionally sued by former staff in March 2023 for allegedly withholding suggestions in the course of the pandemic; Lynch has additionally denied these allegations.

In a press convention on Friday, Tomlinson-Corridor stated that when she joined the restaurant group in September, the three Fort Level eating places (Menton, Drink, and Sportello) have been three months behind on lease, the Boston Globe studies. The three eating places had been collectively paying $88,000 monthly in lease since 2018, regardless of ongoing constructing points like water harm in Drink and Menton’s wine cellar, in accordance with the group’s press launch on the restructuring.

“Boston is now not the identical place the place I opened seven eating places over the past 25 years,” Lynch stated in a press release within the launch. “Properties have been flipped and flipped and the landlords simply need the rents that solely nationwide chains can maintain.”

Sportello, Menton, and Drink, all positioned on Fort Level’s Congress Avenue, had a big influence on Boston’s eating scene over the many years that the eating places have been in enterprise. Menton has obtained each native and nationwide accolades, together with greatest new restaurant nods from Bon Appetit and Esquire when it opened in 2010. Drink, the cocktail bar the place bartenders create customized drinks primarily based on diner preferences, is credited as one of many bars that helped outline the fashionable American cocktail scene when it opened in 2008.

In line with the press launch, Lynch is now focusing any future enlargement plans on the North Shore, the place her latest restaurant the Rudder is positioned.


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