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Sunday, September 21, 2014

Last call for Echo Park’s Allston Yacht Club

The owners Allston Yacht Club, part of a new generation of upscale Echo Park restaurants and bars, today abruptly announced the closure of the nearly four-year-old bar and restaurant.  Customers had been told late last month that the Allston Yacht Club  would be closing for several weeks to rebuild the roof. But a post on the AYC Facebook page made it clear that the Echo Park Avenue restaurant known as AYC would not be reopening.  “You, the friends of AYC, kept us going as long as we have. For that, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts,” according to the Facebook posting.   But co-owner Bill DiDonna said he and partner Charles Kelly plan to reopen a new restaurant in the same space.

DiDonna, in a phone interview, said that the concept and name of the new restaurant  had not been finalized but it would be totally different from AYC, which featured a a small-plates menu and full bar. Work on the roof would take about four weeks to complete, and that would be followed by the remodeling of the interior, he said.  No date has been set for the new restaurant to open.

DiDonna and Kelly, friends who once worked in the film industry, opened the Allston Yacht Club,  in October 2008 during a furious, week-long renovation. The name of the restaurant  refers to a  Boston suburb near where the the owners grew up.

Charles Kelly (left) and Bill Didonna prepare for the 2008 opening of the Allston Yacht Club.

51 comments

  1. Do we hink it reopens as a $160 prix-fixe restaurant or something foolish like that? How did that experiment go over there? Did anyone go to that?

  2. Thirding that emotion. This defies logic.

    Is it a prerequisite of all restaurateurs to be completely psycho sorry- mentally unstable and unable to sit in once place?

    I’ll miss AYC. But honestly unless the reason for the abrupt closure is an excellent (and I do mean excellent) one, I highly doubt I will support the new endeavor, based on this behavior.

  3. Funny how they decided not to announce the closing of AYC and chose to be deceitful to their loyal customers. I had purchased two $20 vouchers for $40 worth of food via Living Social deals (much like Groupon) for AYC. We ate there the night before their closure and as we were assured to us in person by the owner that they were re-opening after the new roof was installed, I chose not to cash in the vouchers thinking I would use them before they expire in November. Living Social has been notified and I am requesting a full refund.

    • Let me know how that goes. I wanted to try out their full menu and purchased the deal for it, but didn’t know that they’d close abruptly. Best of luck to them, though!

  4. Funny how they decided not to announce the closing of AYC and chose to be deceitful to their loyal customers. I had purchased two $20 vouchers each for $40 worth of food via Living Social deals (much like Groupon) for AYC. We ate there the night before their closure and as we were assured to us in person by the owner that they were re-opening after the new roof was installed, I chose not to cash in the vouchers thinking I would use them before they expire in November. Living Social has been notified and I am requesting a full refund of our $40.

  5. We’ll miss this place a lot, but I’m withholding judgement until I see what the new incarnation brings.

  6. Allston Yacht Club = whitest name for a restaurant ever. They should reopen as Kennebunkport Polo Tournament just so they can out-white themselves.

    • Clearly B.E. has NEVER been to Allston, MA…..

      E.

      • yeah, was about to say. the name of this restaurant would’ve been just as ridiculous in allston MA. it’s hardly a gem.

      • I did not know. The name was a turnoff for me…thanks for the context.

        • Allston is the Echo Park of Boston. There is some water nearby but definitely not a yacht.

          • Although technically, the Harvard Rowing Team boathouse is on the Allston side of the Charles. Close enough?

          • It’s still a turn-off of a name.

          • I’m not sure there’s an LA equivalent of Allston, which is more like a semi-run down college section of Boston with a huge amount of apartment, bars, rock clubs, and restaurants. Maybe if you mashed the college students of UCLA with echo park and threw in a lot of apartment buildings you’d be almost there.

    • … but mostly stoopid, in any color.

    • I was so turned off by the name, Allston Yacht Club, that I never bothered to eat there. This is Echo Park, not the Hamptons! I hope that someone who’s part of the neighbor takes over that space.

      • Hillster, did you just ignore the comments above you that explained the meaning behind the name? It was meant to be tongue-in-cheek. I can’t believe you people are complaining about the name being a turn-off. What more can you complain about?

  7. This is LA not LA
    In reference to this is LA not Boston
    In homage to LA (lower allston) please create a divey rock club to sublant your upper echo park complexes around the corner.
    A place where the beer is cheap, the rock is straight ahead, so i don’t feel like an asshole in my neighborhood.

    • I believe that it’s really your own responsibility to not feel like an asshole, and not business owners…..

    • You just want an excuse to wear your This Is LA not LA t-shirt, ha! If a real homage to Lower Allston was built, it’d be a, uh, 3-story vinyl-sided duplex? A Dunkin Donuts? A Hess station?

    • You lost me there, but the THIS IS BOSTON NOT L.A. hardcore punk compilation is pretty rad, as is the UNSAFE AT ANY SPEED comp, the YES L.A. comp, and the BEACH BOULEVARD comp. The NO NEW YORK comp kinda sucks though.

      Poll:

      What’s better? Revelation Records’ NEW YORK HARDCORE THE WAY IT IS comp or WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE comp? I’m going with THE WAY IT IS.

      • Where The Wild Things Are. Hands down. The Outburst tracks are some of the best NYHC committed to tape and Life’s Blood into Breakdown into Sheer Terror is a mammoth trio if there ever was one!

        • Riff,

          Life’s Blood rule! I was in a band that covered “Catch Our Breath” to a packed room at Gilman, and NO ONE KNEW IT. Kinda sad.

      • Ah, well when I lived there, somebody had printed up tons of This Is LA (Lower Allston) not LA t-shirts, which proved popular. A spin on the comp, of course. Lower Allston is pretty much just houses though, with the stray DD and Hess.

  8. Restaurantuers close restaurants all the time in order to do something completely different. Serving small plates for four years could get really boring. Sure I was bummed when I found out one of my favorite places, Ortolan, was closing but also excited to see what would replace it. I don’t understand all the anger over this.

    • It’s the Internet, where passive-agressive people hold on to their issus all day and then let loose the flood gates after being stuck in traffic on the 101. That combined with the fact that a certain generation takes everything far too personally and loves to gripe about nothing.

      Lots of places to eat in LA, try something new.

  9. I’m guessing they found out the roof was going to be really expensive and if they bumped up the loan a little bit they could do a full remodel. So they went for it.

  10. Unbelievable, how could the owners find the audacity to do what they want with their restaurant?! This effects every aspect of my life in a very negative way.

  11. they should put a bird on it too!
    a vegan bike riding bird.
    … and affordable housing.
    that would be good, yes.

  12. Nine Double Oh 2 Sixxxer

    …so no one here ate at their seemingly over-priced Prix fixe menu: $70 with optional $50 beverage pairing?

    http://articles.latimes.com/2012/jul/21/food/la-fo-ayc-residency-20120721

    I’m curious how that went over.
    Or does no one want to admit to having gone to it! ;)

  13. The food was great; and it was a very good value. I will miss it. I hope the new venture is just as good and just as well well priced. (I didn’t try the $70 price fix menu.)

    The name was very stupid (especially the “yacht” reference). And, since I am not from Boston, I didn’t get it. But I was open to it. After all, Los Angeles is full of really good Mexican restaurants named after some little town in Michoacan or Jalisco that I had never been to, but the food is good. So, I figured, this is this particular Boston neighborhood’s version of that, … maybe it wasn’t, but that is the way I took it.

    Looking forward to whatever is next.

    • Most people didn’t get the name thing unless they actually knew/asked the owners–Allston was the sort of place where one would never find a yacht club, and the juxtaposition made Bill and Charlie laugh. But I can see how people who didn’t know that thought it was “snobbish” or just kind of weird.

  14. i hear that trader joes is looking to take over the space

  15. Wahhhh! I was given a $75 gift certificate for some work I did, and was looking forward to using it. Does this mean AYC has run off with the money??

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