When Forum restaurant announced it was closing on March 1 many people were shocked. Since its reopening four months after the Boson Marathon bombings of 2013, the Forum had been doing a bustling business on Boylston Street. In a letter posted on their website, business owners Boston Nightlife Ventures noted some other mitigating factors contributed to the closing, but the main reason was the nearly tripling of the rent. They said the real estate market on Boylston Street was booming and they had been priced out. Not much business can handle such a large rent increase.
At lunch yesterday at Nebo I noticed the place was relatively empty at 12:45, prime time for lunch rush in the area. Very few people were walking around even though it was one of the nicest day’s weather wise the city had seen in a long time. The bartender told me the Boston Restaurant Association revealed that restaurant business is down 60 percent so far this year. This fact is potentially damaging to a number of eateries since the industry operates on razor thin profit margins. My bartender noted people have not been coming in much after work since the MBTA began having all their troubles.
I wonder how many restaurants will close this year and how much an impact it will have on commercial rents. When established places like the Forum can close on a moment’s notice and other places are struggling I think it’s only a matter of time before the dining industry landscape changes in Boston.
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Updated: January 2018