Local landmark restaurant Locke-Ober may have shut its doors, but on Dec. 7, Bostonians will have the chance to bid on parts of it to keep.
The Paul E. Saperstein Co., a full-service auction and appraisal firm that is also known as Pesco, announced this week that it will auction off decor, furniture, restaurant and bar equipment, and fixtures from the cafe, which closed in October after 137 years in business.
Everything from china and chandeliers to a wood-carved pool table and antique-style moldings will be auctioned off. Pesco representative Michael Saperstein said in a press release that some of the items being auctioned off are as old or older than the restaurant itself.
“The event will be an interesting and exciting opportunity for collectors, historians, antique-goers, and Bostonians alike,” Saperstein said in the release. “This is truly a one-of-a-kind auction.”
A Globe story from last month noted that Locke-Ober was a victim of changing times and real estate conditions. Locke-Ober was sold by owner David Ray, who said it just wasn’t getting the business it needed. Ray told the Globe that he had a choice: make the restaurant more casual to keep up with the times, or close it. He chose to close it, leaving Locke-Ober’s “history and its dignity intact.”
Locke-Ober’s closing marked the end of an era in Boston history—an era of diners in dresses and suit jackets and days when downtown workers ate more than just a sandwich for lunch. Many famous faces such as Bill Clinton, Paul Newman, John F. Kennedy, and Henry Kissinger were known to stop by the restaurant when in the area. Until its doors closed in October, it was known as one of the few places in Boston to go to if you felt like pretending you were in an episode of the TV series “Mad Men.”
Despite its status as a landmark restaurant—Boston’s third oldest by the time it closed, according to Globe archives—the cafe has its share of troubles over the years. In 2011, it closed from mid-January to April for renovations and to bring in a new chef.
When Locke-Ober shut down for good, the only explanation given was a sign on the door thanking customers and another that said, “Sorry, we are closed.”
The Dec. 7 auction will be held at 11 a.m. at 1-3 Winter Place in Boston, with a preview starting at 9 a.m. Pesco will also be offering real-time bidding via its website at www.pesco.com.