Towne Stove + Spirits has closed in order to completely reinvent itself

"We had to evolve with the way people were dining today," said Leo Fonesca, director of operations for the Lyons Group.

Towne Stove & Spirits will reopen in the spring.
Towne Stove + Spirits will reopen in the spring. –Towne Stove & Spirits

On Wednesday, Back Bay restaurant Towne Stove + Spirits announced that it had closed its doors until the spring. But the building it’s housed in is not being bought out by a real estate company, as was the case behind so many restaurant shutterings this year (Erbaluce and Crema Cafe, to name a few). Instead, the Lyons Group — which owns a handful of restaurants around town, including Towne — is completely reinventing the space.

“We see the way that people are dining in general has changed,” said Leo Fonesca, director of operations for the Lyons Group. “We feel like the $85 per person per plate model is over. It certainly still works for concepts like steakhouses, but we had to evolve with the way people were dining today.”

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Fonesca said he is unable to share specifics about the new menu, new design, or even the new restaurant name that will debut in the spring. But he did say that the reimagined concept will be “fun, approachable, and definitely reflective of the [dining] model today.”

A new chef will be leading the former Towne kitchen, previously helmed by Mark Allen. Tim Willis, culinary director of the Lyons Group, is spearheading the new menu. As for former Towne employees, Fonesca said that the company was able to find new jobs for everyone who wanted to stay with the group, and that some employees will be coming back to the reinvented venue when it opens.

Design firm Home Studio NYC is leading the redesign of the space; the firm also has worked on Rebelle in New York City and June and Sisters in Brooklyn.

“Our goal is to be open before the marathon,” Fonesca said. “We’ve seen enough of these construction projects that we know we don’t have complete control over it, but that’s our goal.”