A year ago we predicted that someone would swoop in to restore the floundering landmark to its previous glory, and turns out we were right: This morning we received an e-mail from Server Not Servant's Patrick Maguire, who says: "I just got off the phone with my friend, Jay Hajj, owner of Mikes City Diner in the South End. Jay and two partners have signed an agreement to buy the venerable Locke-Ober building on Winter Place in Downtown Boston. The sale includes the restaurant and its liquor license. Contrary to rumors that the treasured space would be gutted, the new owners fully intend to respect and preserve the rich, historic features and integrity of the first floor, and eventually open a new bar and restaurant in those spaces." Huzzah!
The Locke-Ober name will be retired. But not all is lost: According to the e-mail, the purchase should be finalized in early to mid-November; there are no plans to put a British Beer Company store, or any other chain concept in the space [one of the new owners is a BBC partner]; opening a new restaurant in the space is at least a year away; and Mike's City Diner, owned by Hajj, will not move into the space.
For more about the closure, check out this thorough story in the Globe.