Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to remove Hopkinton’s Carbone Restaurant. After announcing its closure in September, the restaurant remains open and exciting news is expected soon. Come back for an update.
It has been a year since the pandemic hit our region, and it has been particularly sad for local restaurants that have struggled financially or found it too difficult to stay open in the face of COVID restrictions. Here are some of the local food establishments that we will miss:
Volturno, 1 Edgell Road, Framingham. This restaurant, with its delicious pizzas made in wood-fired terracotta ovens imported from Italy, an impressive but affordable wine list and creative cocktails, closed in March 2020. It was also one of the establishments locals who have not renewed their liquor license for 2021. But rest assured: the Worcester location on Shrewsbury Street remains open and it’s worth a visit.
The crucible, 92 Worcester Road, Framingham. This delicious processed cheese and chocolate franchise closed its pots for good in February 2020. It was “a business decision based on the economics associated with this franchise location,” according to its website. The owners, under the name Nammari Pot, have not renewed the restaurant’s liquor license for 2021. Another location in Bedford / Burlington remains open. We will gather our friends and go there for a fondue night.
Framingham BeerWorks, 345 Cochituate Road, Framingham. Although on March 15 via Facebook the company announced the temporary closure of all BeerWorks locations, at the December 21, 2020 meeting of the Framingham License Board Commissioners, the minutes show that owner Slesar Bros. Brewing did not ask to renew the establishment’s alcohol. license, so it doesn’t look like BeerWorks faucets will flow again there.
that of John Harvard Restaurant and Brasserie in Shoppers World, Framingham – The restaurant and brewery closed on March 17, 2020, apparently because of COVID. In October, their site was for rent. John Harvard’s had some of the best beer battered fried fish in the area and created special beers to help local groups raise funds, so he will certainly be missed.
Coffee Sofa, 181 Concord St., Framingham – This downtown cafe had comfortable sofas and chairs by an electric fireplace and brought its coffee beans from Brazil and around the world to create specialty drinks. In particular, we will miss the sophisticated designs they made on their coffee drinks. It closed in June.
Following:Relax at the Sofa Café in Framingham
Common cafe and kitchen, 9 South Main St., Natick. This cafe, which offered kebabs and other Persian dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as live music, was forced in mid-March to switch to take-out or service-only orders in mid-March. curbside, as well as all other Massachusetts restaurants. The owner said the restaurant was struggling to stay afloat on take-out orders alone, and in June the restaurant closed.
Joy Asia, 735 Boston Post Road East, Marlborough. Popular Chinese restaurant Eastside closed in June after 24 years in business. A handwritten note on the restaurant’s front door informed customers of the closure. “Sorry!” Read the message. “We have closed permanently after 24 years of activity since 1996. Thank you for all your support and hope everyone will be safe during this pandemic crisis.”
Following:Joy Asia closes
Tao Ramen Sushi, 197 Boston Post Road West, Marlborough. At the end of 2020, the owners announced on the the restaurant’s Facebook page that they had no more money to run the restaurant and were planning to close, then work to save to reopen.
29 Rustic Mediterranean, 29 Hudson Road, Sudbury. At the end of November, this 275-seat restaurant posted on their Facebook page that they “hibernated” for the winter and planned to reopen in the spring. We certainly hope they can reopen soon. The restaurant, however, suggests that in the meantime, customers should head to Nan’s Market, 271 Great Road in Stow, where part of the restaurant staff works.
Peet’s Cafe, 34A Boston Post Road (route 20), Sudbury. In recent years, Peet’s has closed several sites in Massachusetts, and March 20, 2020 was the last day for his Sudbury site. But did you know that you can order Peet’s Coffee directly in stores or on Amazon and it can be found in most grocery stores as well. I know it’s not the same, but if you need their Major Dickason mix in the morning like I did, this is an option for you.
Following:Closure of Peet’s Coffee in Sudbury
Sofia Restaurant, 158 Main St., Hudson – This Tuscan-inspired Italian restaurant on downtown Rotary announced on its Facebook page that it would close definitively on Saturday June 27. Emma Parente, the daughter of Italian immigrants, opened Sofia Ristorante in 2001 and brought first-hand knowledge of authentic Tuscan cuisine.
Following:Sofia Ristorante will close permanently
Ocean star, 200 Washington Street, Hudson. This popular Chinese restaurant on Rte. 85 closed in september after about 15 years of activity.
Following:Star Ocean is definitely closing
Upscale Pub, 5 West Central St., Franklin – “We just want to thank our customers and the town of Franklin for the past 37 years,” said Hawk Beksha, behind the bar owned by her father Ed, of the March 2020 closure Called “Franklin’s Cheers” by a longtime customer, the pub’s lease was not renewed
Dan O’Brien, Norman Miller, Zane Razzaq, Jeff Malachowski contributed to this report.