Landlords “don’t appear to acknowledge that there’s something particular about these eating places,” Harker stated in an interview in June.
UrbanMeritage didn’t reply to requests for remark Thursday.
The charismatic Harker was a continuing presence in the bustling Eastern Commonplace eating room, transferring simply amongst colourful locals, enchanted guests, and the throngs from close by Fenway Park. And his profession typically appeared charmed. Previously the “G” in Barbara Lynch’s B&G Oysters — the duo had been companions for years — he’s typically credited with single-handedly reviving Kenmore Square with the trio of institutions, in addition to being a pressure in well-regarded eating places, together with Watertown’s Department Line and the Seaport’s Row 34. However he has additionally suffered disappointment, together with the closure of Les Sablons, a short-lived French restaurant in Harvard Square that closed in 2018.
Amid it all, Eastern Commonplace was one thing particular.
The brasserie-style house was festooned with cherry-red cubicles and a protracted marble bar that held aloft native celebrities, neighborhood characters, and exhausted restaurant trade staff longing for late-night oysters and fernet. Mirrors and low lighting added to the glamour and buzz. An out of doors patio was the proper spot to make up, break up, or people-watch. Satisfying bone marrow, steak tartare, and baked rigatoni had been nearly inappropriate.
Subsequent door, the 10-year-old Hawthorne was a craft cocktail pioneer, headed up by professional mixologist Jackson Cannon and styled like a correct lounge. In a city recognized for beer bars, it stood out as a complicated hideaway. Island Creek Oyster Bar, in the meantime, was a festive, pleasant spot for Island Creek oysters (in fact), lobster rolls, and a colossal seafood casserole ready by Jeremy Sewall, recognized for Brookline’s Lineage.
On evening, your entire block pulsed with electrical energy. Now these eating places be a part of the ranks of beloved native haunts lately misplaced to time, from high-end landmarks corresponding to Aujourd-Hui, L’Espalier, and Locke-Ober to memory-laced standbys such because the Border Cafe, Deep Ellum, and Gaslight.
In a 2015 appreciation of Eastern Commonplace, which that 12 months marked its 10-year anniversary, Globe meals critic Devra First wrote, “That is the place you come earlier than and after the sport, to have a good time a birthday, late at evening, in the center of the day, for an off-the-cuff dinner, for a pleasant dinner, for brunch, if you’ve received children with you, if you’ve received vegetarians with you, when somebody in your get together has a meals allergy, when somebody in your get together is choosy, when your nonagenarian nana and punk-rock niece are going to be celebrating on the similar desk, if you find yourself by your self and don’t need to cope with anybody at all besides a bartender who will hand you a well-made cocktail and know sufficient to depart you alone.”
Longtime followers speculated concerning the enterprise causes for the closure however principally expressed dismay on the information. A “Save Eastern Commonplace” petition is now circulating on Change.org with greater than 1,200 signatures.
“In chronological order, I celebrated my twentieth, my twenty first, my school commencement, my first job, my twenty fifth, my engagement, my bachelorette, my subsequent divorce, my thirtieth, and each different milestone I can consider right here. I’ll pour out a champagne julep in honor of Eastern tonight,” one affectionate patron recalled.
“Kenmore was essentially the most vibrant space of town till the tip of the ’90s, and now it’s lifeless,” lamented common buyer Kenny Jervis.
Eastern Commonplace associate Andrew Holden even requested a longtime restaurant common to conduct his wedding ceremony.
“This was a spot that, by the employees and the company, was about group. Workers turned household; company turned household,” he stated. “You felt such as you had been a part of one thing greater, a particular a part of Boston and past.”
As for Harker, he posted what many interpreted as a foreboding farewell message in Could, when Eastern Commonplace formally marked 15 years on the daybreak of the pandemic.
“I simply by no means may think about for a second that I wouldn’t have ES in my life,” he wrote.
Nonetheless, all may not be misplaced. Holden is assured that the restaurant may reopen elsewhere, although he didn’t provide specifics.
“I’m optimistic that Eastern Commonplace would stay on, in some unspecified time in the future, down the street,” he stated.
Kara Baskin may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Observe her on Twitter @kcbaskin.