BOSTON (CBS) – As many restaurant owners are struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic, a decade-old gastropub is closing its doors for good.
Ace Gershfield is the co-owner of Stoddard’s Fine Food & Ale. He shared an online thread explaining why staying open simply wasn’t an option, telling WBZ-TV, “I just wanted to speak up, and I just wanted to let people know how hard and difficult of a time it is that this industry is going through – the hospitality and entertainment industry.”
Located at 48 Temple Place in Downtown Crossing, roughly 80 percent of Stoddard’s revenue came from theater crowds and nearby office workers. Coupled with a lack of outdoor space, there simply wasn’t enough business.
“We have a bus, a silver line running right by. There’s no outdoor parking for us to set up outdoor spaces. And once they finally opened up indoor, limited at 25 percent capacity, it makes no sense on a business level,” Gershfield added.
Co-owner Wayne Cintolo said, “I don’t know. It just spiraled down. It’s over. It just came to a complete halt. I don’t have any words for that. It’s just sad.”
The largest asset left is the restaurant’s liquor license, which Gershfield explained has depreciated greatly in value. “Liquor licenses pre-pandemic were probably averaging around $400,000, $450,000 in value. Right now, fair value, or pandemic value as I look at it, $250,000, $300,000. The problem is we would like to see the state hold those liquor licenses, possibly buy them back at fair market value, or else we take such a big loss it hurts us even more.”
While there’s no hope left for Stoddard’s, Gershfield and Cintolo are looking to help other business owners facing similar problems by speaking out.
“Look, I think the reality right now is that most owners are probably a month or two away from shutting down,” Gershfield said.
“We need the state and the city to help us out. They have to help us out with the licenses; they have to help us out dealing with landlords. I understand that landlords need to get paid, they have mortgages, but something has to be done. Or it’s going to trickle down to everybody,” Cintolo said.