50Kitchen, the Fields Corner eatery that featured a fusion of Southern American and East Asian cuisine, plans to permanently close its doors in February, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to pummel the restaurant industry.
According to its Facebook page, 50Kitchen has been closed except for takeout and delivery since Dec. 23, noting “concerns about gatherings during the holidays that could have potentially led to exposure.”
The Dorchester Avenue restaurant is the creation of Anthony Caldwell, the chef and owner who was born and raised in Dorchester and picked up a passion for cooking while in state prison. A veteran of the city’s restaurant and catering scene since 2007, he previously worked at Legal Seafood, MIT, and Harvard University.
Caldwell, who was not immediately available for comment,opened his business in 2018 after winning a 2017 contest sponsored by the Fields Corner Business Lab, which offered six months of free rent at a storefront located at 1450 Dorchester Ave.
Social media posts from the Black-owned restaurant said the move to close, with Feb. 12 as the last day, was a “difficult decision to make, but a necessary one.” The posts added: “Although we are sad that we will soon close our doors, we are grateful for what we were able to do and accomplish in just two years.”
The restaurant is seeking to stay positive and ended its social media posts on a hopeful note: “It was thanks to our customers that we were able to stay open and provide meals to those in need throughout this pandemic…This is not the end of our story, but merely the end of this chapter of it.”
In follow-up social media posts, the eatery encouraged people to use their gift cards if they have one. The menu, offered Thursdays through Sundays, features chicken and waffles, as well as jambalaya egg rolls.
Last year, the restaurant was featured in “All-Inclusive Boston,” a city-backed effort to boost tourism amid the pandemic. Caldwell also made an appearance, with Martha Stewart, on the Food Network show “Chopped.”
But restaurants across the city, state, and country have continued to struggle, particularly as a new variant swept through the US. They’ve experienced shortages in staffing and ingredients, as well as price increases for the latter.