It’s the end of an era for yet another Boston restaurant this weekend, as The Living Room announced on Monday evening that its last day of service will be Saturday, Jan. 19.
In a Facebook post, the North End restaurant and lounge shared that lease issues were behind the imminent closure.
“We would like to thank our past and current staff for all of their hard work and our patrons for their support over the past 15 years!” the post reads. “Please come by this week and toast to the end of an era…..”
The waterfront space originally opened in 1998 as Atlantic 101, a seafood restaurant that eventually morphed into its current iteration in 2003. The Living Room was known for being a nightlife destination; with a DJ, couches, and creative cocktails, the bar provided a lively party spot in an area that, at the time, didn’t have much in the way of clubs and late-night bars.
John Hauck, owner of The Living Room and president of Atlantic 101, Inc., said that lease negotiations began in 2012 and continued after the Mercantile building that houses The Living Room was sold to Belveron Partners in 2015.
Despite two lease extensions, one in 2017 and one at the end of 2018, according to Hauck, no lease agreement has been reached. Hauck said that Belveron was not willing to approve the five-year lease that The Living Room was requesting.
Belveron did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
And so The Living Room will say goodbye to its longtime regulars on Saturday, when Hauck said everyone is encouraged to come by and toast to the past 15 years. He is also trying to find new homes for the roughly 30 employees who work at The Living Room.
“I have a cook who’s been with me since 1998,” he said. “We’re trying to find places for them to go. My older son has been working here since 2006, and I was expecting that he would take over. My other son works for me, too; he’s a bartender. They’re saddened.”
Last Sunday, Hauck said, he closed the restaurant for the night and had a staff meeting to let everyone know.
“We had a few tears,” he said. “And some drinks.”