Top of the Hub will close after more than 54 years in business

Skywalk Observatory will also shut down.

top of the hub closing
The Prudential Center in Boston's Back Bay, as pictured in 2017. –David L. Ryan / The Boston Globe

For decades, Top of the Hub has soared above the Back Bay on the Prudential Tower’s 52nd floor, serving as one of the best vantage points for getting a glimpse at the twinkling city below.

But after more than 54 years in business, the award-winning restaurant and lounge is closing down, along with the Skywalk Observatory located on the 50th floor.

On Wednesday, Select Restaurants, Inc., which owns and operates the restaurant and observatory, announced in a press release that the last day for both destinations will be April 18. The decision to not renew the venues’ leases was attributed to Boston Properties Inc., owners of The Prudential Tower.

“Despite continued sales growth, a commitment to once again invest millions of dollars in the restaurant, and our heartfelt desire to operate the restaurant as we have for decades, Boston Properties chose not to extend our lease,” said John Quagliata, chairman of Select Restaurants, Inc. 

Quagliata also shared that the restaurant staff was informed of the closure on Wednesday. More than 200 employees, some who have worked at the restaurant for decades, will lose their jobs.

Boston Properties Inc. told The Boston Globe that they are “planning an exciting new design for an observatory at Prudential Center that will provide a world-class visitor experience for visitors to Boston. We thank the community in advance for their patience during the construction process and look forward to sharing plans for this exciting new experience.”

Top of the Hub opened in 1965, attracting diners in search of breathtaking views and a romantic ambiance, with countless proposals taking place over Boston cream pies and crème brûlées. It has also remained a pricey establishment to frequent: Steaks average around $55, seafood entrées around $40, and cocktails around $15. The Skywalk Observatory is an investment as well, with adult tickets priced at $21. Still, both the restaurant and observatory are viewed as Boston icons, and the closure comes as a loss for those who celebrated major life moments high above the city.

With only a few months remaining before it shutters, Top of the Hub plans to take a business-as-usual approach.

“Our long-tenured staff is making preparations to continue to welcome friends and clients over the coming months,” said Alan Donatelli, president and chief operating officer of Select Restaurants, Inc., in a statement. “Our guests will continue to experience the exceptional food and hospitality they have come to experience for more than 50 years. We are proud to have a family of great, committed professionals working with us to positively contribute to Top of the Hub’s storied success.”

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