Charlie's, South End institution, to shut forever next month

Charlie's Sandwich Shoppe in the South End

Charlie's this morning. Photo by Pilotblock.

Charlie's Sandwich Shoppe tweets this morning:

We will be closing at the end of June. We would like to thank all of our friends, family, and customers for 87 years of great memories.

Charlie's is such a local landmark it has its own Wikipedia page. Last year, President Obama grabbed a burger there.

Via Boston Restaurant Talk.



Free tagging: 


I'm going to miss Charlie's

Aside from serving one of the great diner breakfasts in town, and having the kind of 87-year-old atmosphere that cannot be faked, it is historically significant as an early breaker of the color line in restaurants, serving African-American musicians who played in the nearby jazz clubs. Very sorry to see it go. You can bet I'll get at least one plate of fried bologna and eggs before the end of June.


What happened?

Do you know why they're closing? It's surprising when a long established business like this goes under as I'd think a lot of their sunk costs were long paid for.

Glad to hear it's because the

Glad to hear it's because the owners are retiring, and not because the latest rent increase was too much.

I wish them a long and enjoyable retirement.



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That was the first thoughts.. how long until its turned into over priced condos or some trendy over priced eatery that similar dots the South End landscape now..


You need to change banks

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If lollipops are an issue, that is. The Peoples Federal Savings Bank branch in West Roxbury remains firmly in the lollipop league.

Try Eastern Bank

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We have our Girl Scout troop account there and I have spotted lollipops at both the West Rox and Back Bay branches (can't speak for the others).

At least they're not Peoples United

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Because then I would never be able to go there without screaming "The peoples united, will never be defeated!" And I'd probably be hauled away after some West Roxbury matron called 911 to report the Communist screaming about revolution on Centre Street (note: never confuse the two banks).

In any case, I am disappointed to see that on their management page, President Thomas J. Leetch is now shown smiling. One of the joys of going into the branch used to be seeing the little signs at the deposit/withdrawal table about how our business was very important to them or how they'd been around for more than 100 years, showing an extremely stern and somber Thomas J. Leetch, looking exactly like the kind of no-nonsense small-town banker you'd want to be entrust your savings to. Now, with that smile, I just don't know you, Thomas J. Leetch.


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Or a frozen yogurt store.

Never ate there

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Because I live in the area, visiting friends and family always want to eat there because of how cute it looks and the line always goes out the door. I always take them down to Mike's because, personally, I prefer a place that has a bathroom and servers that don't act like you're the most annoying person ever for asking them to serve you food (how dare you!). I think it's time for something new....

That said, I hope a Starbucks or some other chain (or a bank!) doesn't move in there. It'd be nice to have a good, local, reliable sandwich shop in the area again. (Don't even bring up Going Bananas down on Tremont...the number of times I've gotten food poisoning from there....)


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"I prefer a place that has a bathroom and servers that don't act like you're the most annoying person ever for asking them to serve you food (how dare you!). I think it's time for something new...."

But you said you never ate there?


I meant that I never ate

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I meant that I never ate there in the sense that "when given a choice, I never ate there" but yes, I have eaten there. Nice try though, and sorry for problematic semantics.


It's nice to hear that the

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It's nice to hear that the closing is a result of retirement rather than getting bought-out. There are obvious exceptions, but I still feels as though--for whatever reason--places like this tend to survive in NYC (clearly less in Manhattan) better/longer than here. Maybe it's because Boston has a much smaller footprint of train-accessable real estate so the land is a a premium or something.

I don't get to go to this place as much as I like given it's hours even though I live just around the corner, but it's still a major bummer in that it follows the drumbeat of the 'hood getting too fancy for it's own good.



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I heard it is going to re-open in the Fall as "Charlatan." The award-winning (but as of yet unnamed) chef came in 23rd on Season 9 of Top Chef: 'Tween Edition.

Specialties will include truffled kale, truffled mac 'n' cheese with kale, kale charcuterie board, and whatever other buzzwords she could find in a 7-year-old edition of New York Magazine. Desserts will include a salted caramel pomegranate brulee.

The Alsatian-inspired bistro-style setting will serve "small plates made for sharing," which was made mandatory under local South End ordinance 2012-4356. "I once looked at a map of Europe and saw the name Alsace. It sounded like a really cool region and I bet they have good food there," said the chef through her publicist.

"If we can't get a liquor license, I'll probably just turn it into a blow out bar," she added.