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Another one bites the dust: Top of the Hub to close forever

The Globe reports the restaurant with the sky-high views will be closing forever in April - along with the Skywalk.

Via Boston Restaurant Talk.

Free tagging: 


great views, and the food is actually much better than people give it credit for.


I bet they will renovate the upper floors and sell them as residential condominiums.


I keep seeing so many posts about crap food but the times I ate there it was quite good. Maybe people didn't warm up to the fancy cuisine.

Certainly better restaurants in Boston, but it was not "crap food" in any sense.

Bitter people due to the pricing?


I don’t think a lot of people went there for the food. But having an over priced restaurant there that was open to the public was a good compromise. Hopefully they come up some business model that allows it to remain open to the public instead of just turning it into a very expensive condo.

It sounds like the building just refused to renew the lease. Really wonder why. Yes, it's overpriced, but was always a nice place to take out-of-town visitor for tea or a drink to see the great view.


The daylight views were spectacular. Lunchtime prices were way lower than dinner, which made it a pretty decent value. When someone was visiting from out-of-town just for the day, the combo of Mapparium + Top of the Hub was not too shabby.


Why do I get the feeling the exciting new concept will be closing the space to the public and renting it out for private events? That would be a real shame from a tourism perspective, considering we already lost the other skyscraper observatory when the Hancock Tower folks closed (for cynical security-theater reasons post 9/11). And apparently the Marriott company does everything they can to discourage people from visiting the top of the historic Custom House (Time Share) Tower, despite their agreement to keep the space open and accessible.


Don't worry - I'm sure somebody will find that pesky missing key to the observation deck at the Coast Guard building any year now.


This city gets lamer and lamer every year.


Not lame if you are a trustfund baby or a rich tourist who doesn't work for a living. Playground for the 1%


Isn't an expensive restaurant at the top of a skyscraper kinda perfectly aimed at a trustfund baby or a rich tourist? This isn't exactly Doyles closing down or something like that.


It was open to the public and you could order a drink, didn't need to get a table, if you were in back bay and bar hopping just to catch the view. Hopefully it will still be set up that way but doubt it.

Although I see your point, top of the hub was kinda just a cool spot to get a drink and have a dope view that one normally couldn’t get. Plus the skywalk was a good date spot of you wanted to drop 20 bucks a person.
I bet it’ll be a super inclusive bar for Instagram models and their realtor partners or penthouse condos

just no way we could be allowed to keep this--it is novel and interesting/pleasant, so first and foremost it is totally unacceptable to corporate culture; they can only tolerate bland and insular. All those windows! Makes one notice the environment they are actually in--totally unwelcome and scary rmfgrd. Of course is is going to become cocaine penthouses or a cocaine social club gym, or a cocaine social work-share space. The latter is not as good as the restaurant that it was.


Or is it partly your fault they are closing?

These stories are sad, but they bring out two types of commenter:

1. People who say "Oh no, that place was a part of my childhood" but haven't been there in 30 years

2. People who yesterday would've derided the restaurant as a schlocky overpriced tourist trap, but today mourn it as a cultural landmark


From the Globe article:
“Despite continued sales growth, a commitment to once again invest millions of dollars in the restaurant, and our heartfelt desire to operate the restaurant as we have for decades, Boston Properties chose not to extend our lease,” Quagliata said in a statement.

I always thought a slightly pricey bevarage was a fair admission to unique views, and sometimes live jazz. We'll see what happens next, but I'm guessing it will be more expensive and less accessable. (Accessible in the sense that I could decide on a whim to go up for a drink.)


Always worth the price of admission - a "slightly pricey drink". Although I have to imagine that there was a number on that lease that Boston Properties would work with - but that was too steep for Top of the Hub. Will be interesting to see what comes next with these two spaces.

Never know - there may have been some bad blood for some other reason and some landlords decide that sometimes having a food establishment, even at higher rents, isn't worth some of the other problems it can cause with insurance, fire risk, smells, traffic etc.

Yes, it's a shame that big corporations got their hands on this novel and interesting structure built long, long ago by humble village craftsmen.

It's a shame the skywalk is closing too. I wonder why? As a child in the 60s it was a big deal outing for my parents to take me there. As an adolescent in the early 70s I would go up there and hang out a bit with Maxanne and the gang at WBCN when you could actually do that kind of thing.


It's a little sad that the restaurant is closing because their lease won't be renewed, especially since they're doing well. But it's really unfortunate that the sky walk will be lost. I'm hoping that ultimately it will become open to the public again, even if that means you have to buy a ticket.


in the lounge worthwhile, as someone else here already observed.

What made me avoid it except under duress from visiting friends was the shoddy hospitality. Nobody went there for the food, which varied wildly in quality over the years depending on the corporate ownership -- at one point it was, ahem, Stouffer's -- but never rose above expensively mediocre. Despite that, the reliable first move by the host stand was to sniff imperiously at guests and then seat every party away from the windows.

(Nothing against tourists traps per se: I like Neptune Oyster, which is always overrun by tourists. But that place is actually good, has earned loyal local customers like me: it's not surviving on the custom of out-of-towners who have been misled by awful guidebooks or concierges and will never visit again.)

The Top of the Hub could have honored a simple formula: "Make me feel welcome, not like I missed the servants' entrance by mistake, and understand I'm only here for the view." I would have visited a few times a year. But front of house management did not grasp that easy math, so sayonara, bitches. You had one thing going for you, and you blew it.

Sorry for the jobs lost, but with the industry's ongoing labor crunch, those folks should land quickly.


I hear a major strip club will be expanding there. True?

Maybe they’ll call it ‘Top of the cHub’?!!!

It had different weather than down below!

According to today's BBJ

Top of the Hub, Skywalk to close, cut 200 jobs
By Gintautas Dumcius – Digital Editor, Boston Business Journal
Jan 15, 2020, 4:10pm EST Updated Jan 15, 2020, 4:17pm EST

The Top of the Hub restaurant and the Skywalk Observatory in the Prudential Tower are set to close in April, resulting in the layoffs of roughly 200 employees......

“Boston Properties is planning an exciting new design for an observatory at Prudential Center that will provide a world-class visitor experience for visitors to Boston,” Bryan Koop, the company's (NYSE: BXP) executive vice president, said in an emailed statement.

“We thank the community in advance for their patience during the construction process and look forward to sharing plans for this exciting new experience,” he added.

So are we losing the Top of the Hub -- in exchange for something Greater to come???

*1Perhaps a Las Vegas-style Observation Wheel attached to the side of the Pru which you board from the former location of the "Top of the Hub"???

*1 Pure unsubstantiated speculation -- although since the radio tower top is above 900 feet [FAA Grandfathered] -- I suspect the top of the wheel could easily go to 880 feet