Fuku closed at 43 Northern Ave. in Boston – but he could be resurrected in the city in appropriate ghostly form.
When Fuku Fried Chicken Restaurant opened in Boston in late 2018, it was the first expansion in the city for restaurateur and TV personality David Chang (Momofuku Restaurants, Ugly DeliciousIt was also one of the many examples of out-of-town restaurant chains coming to the Boston Harbor area, joining By Chloe, Luke’s Lobster, Sweetgreen, Shake Shack, far too many steakhouse chains , and more. To date, this is Chang’s only restaurant in Massachusetts; There is a location of Christina Tosi’s Milk Bar bakery chain in Harvard Square, but although Milk Bar was born under the umbrella of Momofuku, it is operated independently.
In June 2019, it looked like Boston was on the verge of having more locations in Fuku as new CEO Alex Muñoz-Suarez was excited about the potential for expansion into East Coast cities like Boston, but it did. did not come true. “In my mind, I see Fuku as a gateway to all of Momofuku,” Muñoz-Suarez told Eater NY at the time. “I think our guests represent a much larger group representing the American population than the guests you get at Ko or the Ssäm Bar. I imagine Fuku is the start of the introduction of who is Dave Chang and who is Momofuku.
Fuku’s only Boston location appears to have closed early in the pandemic, based on sad Instagram comments posted by fans over the past few months wondering when it would reopen, but the closure is now permanent, with locations currently operating. only in New York, Florida and DC and all traces of Boston’s location have been erased from the Internet. A representative for Fuku confirms the news, saying the Boston location and the Wall Street location in New York both closed in March and will not reopen.
But that might not be the end: The company is reportedly expanding its reach via ghost kitchens through a partnership with a company called Reef Neighborhood Kitchens. With Reef, Fuku quietly began appearing on delivery apps earlier this year in Portland, Oregon and elsewhere, an under-the-radar move carried out without the fanfare that brick-and-mortar arrivals like the Boston opening have had. had. Fuku, via Reef, could return to Boston in this form of delivery only at some point next year.
“For the past two years, we’ve been a part of the Boston community and our goal is to return soon so that we can continue to serve our many loyal customers through a delivery model,” said Muñoz-Suarez, via a Press release.
This is certainly a sign of the times of the pandemic, although the proliferation of ghost kitchens – essentially virtual restaurants that operate as delivery-only businesses – is expected to continue well into the future, possibly becoming an issue. $ 1 trillion business by 2030.
Update, 11 a.m .: This story has been updated to include information provided by a representative from Fuku and a new quote from Muñoz-Suarez.
• Cover of Fuku Boston on Eater [EBOS]
• Fuku in the Boston Harbor district has closed; Could return to Boston via REEF Neighborhood Kitchen [BRT]
• Fuku’s national expansion plans may depend on ghost kitchens [E]
• Ghost kitchens are the wave of the future. But is it a good thing? [E]
Disclosure: David Chang produces shows for Hulu in partnership with Vox Media Studios, which is part of Eater’s parent company, Vox Media. No Eater staff are involved in the production of these shows, and this does not affect Eater’s coverage.