Friday, May 29, 2020

The Future of Eastern Standard in Boston's Kenmore Square Appears to Be in Question

It looks like one of the most popular restaurants in Boston could be facing an uncertain future.

According to several sources in the restaurant and hospitality industries, there is chatter about the exact status of Eastern Standard in Kenmore Square, with a Facebook post from Marlo Marketing indicating that a lease issue appears to be taking place. The post mentions that the marketing firm is "heartbroken at the thought that a short-sighted landlord would rather end this Boston institution than work with an owner as passionate and dedicated to his community, his team and his guests during this unprecedented time in history," while linking to a post from the restaurant itself that talks about its turning 15 years old this week but which also seems to have both cryptic and not-so-cryptic messages that have sparked discussion among people in the industry. (The note says, among other things, that Eastern Standard is now "a line item on a landlord's balance sheet and chances are they lack the vision to imagine it as anything else. It's feeble PPP money in a bank account that will have to given back. Right now it's a memory.") We have reached out to Marlo Marketing and people with connections to Eastern Standard; as soon as we find out more about the status of the restaurant, we will post an update here.

Eastern Standard first opened in 2005, with the place being known in part for its food offerings with French influences and its cocktail list.

The address for Eastern Standard is 528 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA, 02215. Its website can be found at

[June 26 update: A Boston Globe article confirms that the future of Eastern Standard is indeed in question, with owner Garrett Harker and landlord/real estate owner UrbanMeritage being at an "impasse" on lease negotiations. The Globe also mentions that this apparently affects Island Creek Oyster Bar and the Hawthorne as well (all three spots are located in the Hotel Commonwealth), putting the future of those places in question, too. For now, the situation is in limbo because there is a statewide moratorium on evictions, but if anything changes, we will post another update here.]

by Marc Hurwitz (Also follow us on Twitter at @hiddenboston)

[A related post from our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants): List of Restaurant Closings and Openings in the Boston Area]