Never forget: 10 Boston stores that went under this year

Otherside Café

Is there a sight more discouraging than the butcher-paper-covered windows of a shuttered business? When an establishment closes, it conjures a slew of worst-case scenarios: shattered dreams, lost money, the breakneck passage of fashion and time, our inevitable lapse into obsolescence, irrelevance, and eventually death.

Take, for instance, the moribund Otherside Café. For a while now, the incredibly loud bar and restaurant had feared for its safety. Then last week, they announced the news: come May, there'll be no place in Back Bay for vegetarians to be served craft beer by diffident hipsters.

But when the Otherside at last passes to the other side, it will be in excellent company. In the last tax year, a goodly number of Boston establishments have disappeared into the infinite.

These are their stories. 

Used to be, Inman Square yuppie parents who wanted to buy an organic cotton Ramones onesie for their little bundle of joy knew where to go. No longer.

BORDERS Independent bookstores trembled when Borders and its gargantuan selection came to town. However, in the past few years, the Newbury Street monolith came to resemble an empty warehouse dotted with notebooks and novelty covers for its
ill-fated e-reader, the Kobo - and now the mighty has fallen.

BOSPHORUS Why would a perfectly decent, reasonably priced East Cambridge Turkish restaurant come and go in less than a year? It could have been our fault - Robert Nadeau's indifferent review couldn't have helped - but our money's on the fact that its opulent bar served nothing harder than white wine sangria.

DADDY'S JUNKY MUSIC The venerable musical-instrument retail chain - and its popular Allston outlet - said auf wiedersehen after nearly 40 years in business, due to reported legal issues. Sad trombone.

FLOATING ROCK Last May, this family-owned Cambodian restaurant floated from a Revere storefront to a space in Central Square four times as large. It closed less than a year later.  

FRIENDLY'S EXPRESS Contrary to their motto, not everybody was going to Friendly's - at least, not everybody in Brookline. After 18 months, the Coolidge Corner burger joint went into the great beyond. Goodbye, sundaes with every meal.

GARGOYLES ON THE SQUARE Blue-haired Hell's Kitchen contender Jay Santos must've endeared himself to the owners of this Davis Square eatery - they waited to close this restaurant until after his successful TV run.

KELLY'S ROAST BEEF The family-owned chain closed its Allston location after less than two years. Apparently, drunk college kids don't crave roast beef sandwiches, preferring instead to gobble chicken nuggets or just vomit quietly beside Great Scott.

MCINTYRE & MOORE This antiquarian bookstore was the last remaining holdout from Boston's once-vibrant community of shops catering to the musty-leather-and-first-edition set. Now it's gone. Thanks, Internet.

THE SAVANT PROJECT Seems like New American tapas never took off. How we mourn those truffled polenta logs.

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