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Historic Locke-Ober Restaurant Closes its Doors

A Boston landmark restaurant is closing its doors. The Locke-Ober restaurant closed over the weekend, reports The Boston Business Journal. The restaurant has been on the Boston scene since 1875. Now, it’s selling its historic buildings on Winter Place.

It’s a sad day for Bostonians. Attracting the likes of Paul Newman, as well as many political figures, the restaurant has been iconic on Boston’s social scene for over a century.

It opened its doors back in the 1800s. But the doors weren’t open to women until the 1970’s, as it was a boys’ club for decades. Thirty years after it opened its doors to women, it had a woman chef at the helm.

The new owners of the building have their work cut out. The building is old and will require a significant amount of renovation to get up to code.

While there won’t be another Locke-Ober in the building, it does appear that the new owners have a restaurant in mind. At least on the first floor. The other floors may be seeing residential housing, according to The Boston Globe.

The upper quarters of the restaurant have traditionally been dining areas. So the transition will require a fair bit of work on the part of the new owners. As if renovation alone wasn’t enough, there are the use restrictions and permit rules that the new owners need to look into.

Renovating an old building is no small feat, especially considering that the building has been an historic landmark in the city. The Boston Landmarks Commission regulates the city’s historic landmarks and helps preserve them through use restrictions, licenses and permits.

The historic preservation won’t be the only hurdle for the new owners, however. The building is ancient — it still has a steam generator in the basement for heating the building.

Certainly, bringing the building up to code while preserving its historic value will be a challenge. In the meanwhile, Bostonians can look forward to what’s coming next.

And who knows? Locke-Ober might pop up in another location as the restaurateurs have hinted.

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