Barbara Lynch’s Butcher Store restaurant has gone darkish. ‘Choices are open’ about its future.

The Boston Globe

The closure comes only a few months after staff alleged that Lynch’s eating places fostered a poisonous tradition, stuffed with abuse and habit behind closed doorways.

Barbara Lynch’s restaurant The Butcher Store within the South Finish. Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Workers

Greater than six weeks after Barbara Lynch’s The Butcher Store closed for a “summer time break,” the South Finish restaurant stays closed, and its destiny is unsure.

Whereas hypothesis has swirled within the restaurant world that the Tremont Road mainstay is shuttered for good, Lynch mentioned in an announcement to the Globe on Wednesday {that a} newly-hired chief working officer is “ how [the restaurant] aligns now with the evolutions of the neighborhood and the town. Choices for its future are open.”

In her assertion, Lynch mentioned employees at The Butcher Store had been redeployed to her different eating places through the summer time break, and implied The Butcher Store’s struggles could also be tied to its lack of a full liquor license.

“The Butcher Store utilized to the Metropolis of Boston in 2019 for a full liquor license, however sadly the town denied the request, one thing that has restricted our flexibility and skill to maintain up with native tendencies,” the assertion continued.

Lynch opened The Butcher Store roughly 20 years in the past, as a nod to European butcheries, and it has been distinguished within the South Finish eating scene ever since. Through the early months of the COVID pandemic, the place “opened its home windows to the neighborhood,” offering consolation meals — and bathroom paper — at a time when each had been prized.

It has lengthy since reopened for seated eating, however across the starting of August a discover on The Butcher Store web site began telling guests the restaurant was on a short lived break. Lynch hosted an Umbria wine dinner with a $170 normal admission there on August 16. Social media posts point out that occasion occurred. However in any other case, no reservations have been out there on the net reserving platform Resy since August.

Restaurantuer and chef Barbara Lynch butchered an entire pig at The Butcher Store in Boston’s South Finish in 2009. DINA RUDICK/GLOBE STAFF

The timing of the closure additionally adopted detailed studies of a poisonous office tradition at Lynch’s eating places: In March, two former staff filed a lawsuit alleging the chef had shorted them ideas earlier within the pandemic. Then extra staff spoke out publicly within the Globe quickly thereafter with allegations of poisonous work habits throughout her seven institutions: B&G Oysters, The Butcher Store, Drink, Menton, Stir, No. 9 Park, and Sportello. Lynch additionally not too long ago opened her first new restaurant in years: The Rudder, in Gloucester.

Some alleged that Lynch repeatedly lashed out at employees and visitors, touched staff inappropriately, and issued threats of violence. She typically abused alcohol on the job, others added. Quite a few prime staffers have departed.

Lynch lengthy represented the top of Boston’s restaurant world: a South Boston native who overcame sexual assault and alcoholism inside her household to achieve the echelon of tremendous eating. She was heralded for offered staff a residing wage, medical insurance, and psychological well being sources earlier than that was the norm. However the swirl of controversy has introduced that portrait of benevolence crashing down.

And complaints towards Lynch have reignited conversations about abuse and habit behind closed doorways at eating places.

“I simply really feel just like the habits within the trade has to finish, and he or she is on the forefront of it,” Michaela Horan, a former supervisor at The Butcher Store, instructed the Globe in April.

Extra adjustments might be coming. Within the assertion Wednesday, Lynch added that the Lynch Cooperative had a brand new chief operations officer in Lorraine Tomlinson-Corridor, who will take a “top-to-bottom take a look at all the firm.”

“Keep tuned.”