Skip to Content

‘Hardest year of my life’: Restaurants struggling to survive:


Click here for updates on this story

    Boston (WBZ) — Martin Thornton has owned Thornton’s Fenway Grille for 29 years. He was worried this year might be the last.

“Business just evaporated and it’s been the hardest year of my life,” Thornton said. “Every week I said ‘should I try and make it, or should I just give it up.’ I just kept going.”

Like many surrounding businesses, Thornton’s was impacted by the absence of concerts and fans at Fenway during games.

Compared to the previous year, Thornton said, “I’m down over 50 percent. Probably closer to 35 percent. And that’s not enough to survive.”

General Manager at Eventide Alex Kim said, “I think I speak for everybody in the neighborhood when I say it’s rough. We had an extended patio out there, but even with that, sales are down- a lot. Fenway tends to be a Red Sox centric neighborhood, so without that it feels a little empty.”

A representative for Eastern Standard confirmed in an email to WBZ-TV that the restaurant is not reopening, along with Island Creek Oyster Bar and the Hawthorne in Kenmore Square. The trio is the latest to be added to the list of notable restaurants in the area that have closed their doors.

“Being someone from the inside, I can definitely see why it happened. But it just goes to show that the restaurants in general just need a lot of help,” said Kim.

Thornton added that when one restaurant closes its doors, they all suffer. “One restaurant can’t survive,” Thornton said. “We need to have a bunch of restaurants for the diversity. It’s the group of restaurants that keep people coming in, keep us surviving.”

So far, there has been no official word on if fans will be allowed at Fenway Park this season. Red Sox Opening Day is April 1.

Please note: This content carries a strict local market embargo. If you share the same market as the contributor of this article, you may not use it on any platform.

Article Topic Follows: National-World

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo

CNN Newsource


KIFI Local News 8 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content