No Name Restaurant makes it official: It is now no more
The No Name Restaurant on Fish Pier announced tonight it's closed for good - hours after it filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, with documentation showing its two biggest creditors are the city of Boston and Massport:
After over 100 years, we had to make the difficult decision to close the No Name Restaurant.
We want to thank our generations of customers for all the years of loyal patronage, and for helping make the No Name a landmark location.
To our employees, many of whom have been with us for decades, we cannot thank you enough - we thank you for your tireless dedication and hard working service.
One employee told WCVB workers were called in for a meeting tonight and told the restaurant was closing and they'd get a week of severance pay. According to the restaurant's bankruptcy paperwork, filed today in US Bankruptcy Court in Boston, the restaurant withdrew $9,900 from its bank account to give employees their final pay in cash today.
It's the latest in a string of landmark Boston restaurants to shut down of late, for example, Doyle's and Durgin-Park.
Earlier today, the No Name, owned by Katerina Contos of Wellesley, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy - the irrevocable kind in which the company is liquidated and any cash remaining used to pay off creditors - in federal Bankruptcy Court in Boston.
The restaurant listed assets worth about $213,000 - most notably a Boston beer, wine and liqueurs license, which the restaurant estimates it could get $140,000 for. It added its lease for its space from Massport at the Fish Pier, which runs through 2024, "may have significant value," but it did not put a dollar amount on that. After paying employees for the last time, the restaurant reported it had $5,900 in cash on hand.
It listed debts of $422,000 and says it owes about $93,000 to the city of Boston and a similar amount to Massport. Also possibly facing losses from dealing with the restaurant are a number of local and Maine-based seafood suppliers, including James Hook & Co., owed $23,000; John Nagle Co., $20,000; and Maine Coast Shell Fish, $27,000.
According to its filing, the No Name grossed $3.2 million in its 2017-2018 fiscal year, but $3.1 million between Nov. 1, 2018 and Oct. 31, 2019.
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Oh no. Not No Name!
Oh no. Not No Name!
Can't say I'm too upset. Went
Can't say I'm too upset. Went there once with some friends from out of town and was embarrassed at how awful it was.
Agreed. I had been there in
Agreed. I had been there in the 90's when I was young, and it was raved about and was good solid food.
Tried it again about 10 years ago, blech. Awful. Dirty. Nasty.
No Name, No Thanks.
Didn't it go down hill?
Loved it thru the '90s. Then at some point in the '90s the food became meh, then the bus tours made it less than meh. So haven't been back in more than 20 years. Anyone been there lately? How was it?
Did it go downhill or did the rest of the area go "uphill"
In the late 60s to late 80s No Name was a good, not great, place for local workers to get simple cheap fresh fish, fried or broiled, washed down with a Schlitz or Bud. The original Legal Seafood in Inman Square had a similar fresh and simple menu.
Then came the 90s and the 00s and the restaurant scene changed. Fancy menus with fancy words, high prices, artsy interiors, and celebrity chefs. I am surprised the No Name hung on as long as it did. If you ate there 2 years ago, which was the last time I did, it was basically the same place and menu as it was in 1968. It was never great, but usually good. For those of us of a certain age, it will be missed.
The No Name has been coasting on it's reputation for years
The No Name has been coasting on it's reputation for years, and at this point has been pretty much catering to tourists only. Last time I went I got the tiniest portion of shrimp you have ever seen. Very unsatisfactory. It's a long way from the 70s when it was a bring your own bottle place and they sat you at long picnic tables with people you didn't know and fed you large portions of greasy fried fish. Come to think of it, I wasn't that crazy about it then either. But it was the freewheelin' 70s and I was a college student and it was the middle of the night and I brought my own bottle, so anything went.
(Or "chorís ónoma", acc. to Google)
Now that the restaurant has made it official.
It's a hard life for full service restaurants
Across the industry full service restaurants are hurting. In and around the city rents are skyrocketing, labor (particularly experienced labor) is in short supply, and regulations are taking a big toll. Meanwhile patronage is down as public tastes change to favor limited service offering (such as food trucks, etc) where the operating costs are much less.
Obviously full service restaurants aren't going away but it's a hard business to run, particularly in Eastern MA. Not surprising so many of the longtime places are throwing in the towel.
When faced with shrinking real income from jobs due to tax, real estate, and rental costs people will cook more at home. Good thing for the family/household possible catastrophe for the industry unless the lower their prices.
Statistics show that people spend more on eating out than at home, and the gap has been steadily increasing.
Rent goes up, quality goes down
As rents skyrocket, the businesses get more boring, corporate, and dumbed down. Without affordable rents there's no room for ambitious young entrepreneurs to go out there and take chances. That's why food trucks are popping up to fill the void. If this were the 1970s, those food truck owners would be able to afford a proper space. So no, tastes aren't changing.
20 years ago there was fewer places to eat out. There's been a steady rise in high quality "fast Casual" places and trucks, many of which are good enough for a "destination" dinner or lunch that isn't fast food. It's not people staying home, it's competitors with lower costs. Labor, ingredients, and rent cost are going up faster than inflation.
Restaurants can only raise their prices so much. In the case of No Name they couldn't make things work even with $3.1 million in receipts.
is doing everything they can to eliminate traditional businesses and have the liquor licenses transferred to new businesses in the Seaport area. Forget about the working man and the neighborhoods.
The only time I went there
it was far too loud, we ate at picnic tables, and I got food poisoning.
Can't say I'll miss this tourist trap.
"I got food poisoning"
I hope that your doctor identified that pathogen and reported it.
Otherwise, you can get noro anywhere, like on the T.
I'd say this is part of the growing trend and etc etc etc but this place was just bad last time I went. Really bad. Nothing had been updated in forever and it seemed like it was dying 10 years ago. Seafood was terrible, the clams were sandy as hell. Can't say I'm too sad
My one wonderful night at No Name
It was just before Christmas in 1981. The floor at our BU dorm arranged a group dinner at the No Name. We took the concept of BYOB to the extreme and brought a keg. The restaurant was fine with it. The whole night is a bit of a blur, but it was the only time I have ever gotten an entire restaurant to sing Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer. RIP No Name.
I remember that - I wasn't on your floor but you guys shared with everyone! I didn't stay too long, but appreciated the free beer at age 17.
At least they paid the staff
At least they paid the staff what they owed them, and a bit of severance--far too many other restaurant owners just shut down and let the workers find the doors locked.
Nice that they paid them in
Nice that they paid them in cash, too. I have no idea if one week's severance is considered good or bad in the restaurant biz, but at least the employees didn't have to race to the bank and worry about whether their checks would clear.
The fish chowder was excellent
It really was
Seafood, service and prices were excellent
I agree that the fish chowder was superb, perhaps the best in the city. In fact, all of the fresh off-the-boat menu items, if not the decor, were on par with Boston's best seafood restaurants. The mostly Greek servers were top notch. The prices were unbeatable, especially in the cost prohibitive seaport. The dockside, fish shanty atmosphere with paper napkins and screeching seagulls were all part of the charm. The days of dinner and drinks for two for under $50 in Boston are becoming a distant memory. Hopefully some restaurant picks up the seafood chowder recipe which is readily available on line.
I never went and I used to shop in the Downtown side of South Boston.
Didn't know it was South Boston though.
It has had several up and down periods
I loved it in the 80s when it was so busy and random. Some people said it was great in the 50s but not in the 70s. Took my kids for lunch in the '00s and it was a good side trip from the Children's Museum or the Aquarium.
Here's the recipe:
It probably didn't help that parking down there now costs
At least $30 to pop in for a meal. (Please, prove me wrong.) A basic restaurant for blue collar workers with no place to park except those Massport lots is not a winning formula.
No Name had free parking at Fish Pier
I can't guarantee that this was still the case within the past year or two, but as recently as say 3 years ago, you could park for free at Fish Pier while dining at the no-name. I never took advantage of that as I always took the T in, but maybe someone out there can confirm.
what the hell is going on..
weve lost all our decent well known restaurants... pier 4 , locke ober cafe..
durgin park , and now the no name... i like henneseys part of the somers group..
theyll be closing up shop too. and yes.. what about ye old union oysrer house?
bell in hand??
If the Union Oyster House
If the Union Oyster House ever closes, that will be the cruelest blow of all. However, if the Bell-in-Hand shuts down, don't feel too bad - in spite of their advertising, they are NOT the oldest tavern in the nation. It's not in the same location as the original and it has not always been continually serving since 1795. This claim has been driving me crazy for years.
It was good when it was just
It was good when it was just a joint you could get your money’s worth and bring in your own grog. The area got classed up, and it lost it’s niche. Fish markets that fry up their stuff are getting few and far between. You find one , you cherish it and hope it lasts. And forget about finding sawdust covered floors,
Should be neighborhood specific and nontransferable outside of that area.
Why should the South Boston Waterfront have all the fun? Currently, this policy promotes the demise of neighborhood bars and restaurants and is possibly bigoted.
Should be available to any business that pays a nominal administrative fee to the municipality and agrees to abide by the rules of said license.
If your business moves or goes out of business, you surrender the license back to the municipality.