It's the place where everybody knows your name. At least, it used to be.
Sad news came down this week that the Faneuil Hall location of Cheers! would be closing as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. With fewer tourists walking through Quincy Market and the nearby office buildings having sent everyone to work from home, owner Tom Kershaw announced in a press release that they would be closing their doors for good at the end of August. It closed temporarily in March at the outset of the pandemic and reopened again in June, but business has been too slow to remain viable. It's full capacity was for 300 people, but pandemic restrictions have cut that number in half. The Faneuil Hall location includes a gift shop.
The restaurant was designed to look like the set of Cheers!, the NBC sitcom where Mayday Malone slung beers for Cliff and Norm while sparring with Rebecca and chasing after Diane. The inspiration for the TV show, which ran from 1982 to 1993, was the Bull & Finch Pub on Beacon Street. That location will remain open, as will several of Kershaw's other restaurants including the Hampshire House, 75 Chestnut, and 75 on Liberty Wharf. Some of the 30 displaced workers will be offered jobs in those locations, but business remains slow at the others as well.
Just across the Greenway, the North End's Taranta will be closing after 20 years of serving Italian-Peruvian fusion meals on Hanover Street. During the lockdown the restaurant tried to remain viable by opening La Reina, a taco pop-up restaurant, in the space. Pervian-born owner Jose Duarte and his wife Anna said they would have to sell 10,000 a month just to be able to afford the rent. Seating restrictions has reduced capacity to 30%, and the loss of corporate events, functions, and tourist traffic was simply too much to bear.
“My wife and I opened this business as a wedding present to each other and to us it is our first child," Duarte wrote on Taranta's website closing announcement. "We have been a part of an amazing community, creating memorable experiences and sharing our sustainability efforts... Since March, our liabilities have accumulated to more than we can sustain and unfortunately we were not able to reach an agreement with our landlord to make things work.”
Taranta will remain open Thursday through Saturday until the end of the month and will close for good on August 29th. The couple owns two other restaurants that will remain open: Norwell's Trattoria San Pietro and Chelsea's Tambo 22. Italian food is served in Norwell while the Chelsea location offers Peruvian fare. Tambo 22 opened in March.