After more than 27 years in business, beloved JP restaurant Bella Luna & The Milky Way to close permanently

BOSTON — Nestled in Jamaica Plain’s Egleston Square for over 27 years, the Bella Luna & The Milky Way has served as a staple within its community.

Alike many other businesses struggling to stay afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic, Bella Luna’s owners have decided to close their doors permanently. Citing issues with reopening to full capacity and the safety of both employees and patrons, the restaurant has decided it is no longer viable for them to stay in business.

As part of Phase 2 of reopening the state, restaurants are now allowed to serve customers but only in an outdoor area setting and, of course, through takeout.

Looking ahead, the owners of Bella Luna said the “public health hazards of Covid-19 will exist for over a year; and without being able to operate at full capacity, our business is not financially sustainable.”

In a Facebook post, the business thanks all their customers for their patronage, for becoming close with the team and helping create an atmosphere of “generosity, inclusivity, creativity and respect.”

The full statement says:

“Dear Bella Luna & Milky Way Friends:

After several months of considering all options, we have concluded that we cannot reopen Bella Luna & The Milky Way. We are heartbroken to announce that we will remain closed permanently.

The mission of our business is to gather people together in groups, to foster social closeness --the opposite of social distancing. Gathering in groups is not going to be a safe activity until there is a widely-available vaccine or treatment. We are not comfortable putting our team members and guests at risk of contracting the virus while working and dining in our space. Also, the public health hazards of Covid-19 will exist for over a year; and without being able to operate at full capacity, our business is not financially sustainable.

We are tremendously grateful for our 27 ½ years in this beautiful neighborhood of Jamaica Plain and the wonderful City of Boston. Thank you for dining, dancing, bowling, celebrating and gathering with us! Many of you have been visiting Bella Luna for all of our 27+ years, and we have been blessed to serve many of your families through several generations. Thank you for making Bella Luna & The Milky Way your second home, for becoming friends with us and our team, for celebrating life’s most precious moments with us. It has been our honor to serve you all.

We are proud of having created a vibrant and safe space for all, founded in the values of generosity, inclusivity, creativity and respect. We are proud of our team members, past and present, who worked with tremendous dedication and commitment to carry out our special brand of hospitality with a purpose. We are proud of our wonderful promoting partners and the countless talented performers who expressed themselves through music, dance, art, spoken word, opera, crafts, comedy, story-telling & fashion, and to all who came to witness and celebrate that talent. Thank you all for having fun and creating community in our space. We are proud of having used our business to support so many amazing non-profit organizations and individuals working to build a better Boston; thank you for giving us the opportunity to help.

We would like to add a special thank you to our landlord, the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation. When we were facing displacement and possible closure in 2008 due to a substantial rent increase, Bella Luna & The Milky Way was able to find a new home at The Brewery Small Business Complex with a landlord that shares our values and community mission. The JPNDC understands and supports small businesses and we are eternally grateful for their commitment to a more inclusive and equitable Boston. They welcomed us with open arms and have supported us through this especially challenging chapter.

We are all finding new ways to gather, celebrate and express ourselves during this pandemic. We are hopeful that out of this time of tremendous change new opportunities will arise and the Bella Luna/Milky Way legacy will expand and deepen in unexpected ways. To quote our own Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, ‘Joy is Resistance.‘ Wishing us all peace, good health, togetherness and joy.

With Much Love and Gratitude,

Kathie, Megan, Carol, Charlie and Pierre."

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