Boston.com – On the night of Halloween, D.J. Lawton — owner of Roast Beast, a roast beef sandwich destination — changed the profile photo on his restaurant’s Facebook page to announce the shop’s sudden closure. The photo, which showed a message written on cardboard and taped to Roast Beast’s door, was pointed and succinct.
Perhaps the greatest memory from my past summer was being introduced to Roast Beast. Red and Papa G had been going there for years but I had never had the pleasure. It was more than worth the wait.
For those not in the know, the North Shore of Massachusetts is well known for hot roast beef sandwiches. The hot version is basically the same thing as the cold version of the meat but cooked on a griddle a la something like pastrami with cheese, etc. on it and usually served on an onion roll. It’s fucking delicious.
Now Allston is obviously not the North Shore which geographically speaking made Roast Beast that much more delicious. We didn’t have to drive north of the city to enjoy this incredible delicacy. It was legit the best of both worlds.
Now the city has decided that, after ten years in business, without a $150k alteration to the kitchen they have to shut down. And the owner has understandably said “well then fuck you.” I guess they’ve (the city inspection department as well as the fire department) fucked with him before, and he’s quite sick of it.
Listen, fires are no joke. Those of us who worked in the Boston bar scene in the past ten years lost someone we knew last year to such a disaster. But those orgs are also filled with people with giant egos and a need to swing them around. The bottom line is we’ve been eating delicious sandwiches for ten years and suddenly there’s a complication now. Which is bullshit.
So thank you DJ and his crew for ten good years. Maybe he’ll open up in NH soon or something. Long live Roast Beast.