ESSEX, Mass. — A beloved restaurant on the North Shore of Massachusetts has closed its doors for good after nearly 70 years in business.
The Village Restaurant at 55 Main Street in Essex, a Cape Ann staple since 1956, said its final goodbyes and served up its very last meals on Tuesday night, the popular seafood eatery said in a Facebook post.
Hundreds of people were surprised when the Audette family announced plans to close the local landmark last week.
“This is, indeed, the end of an era but the memories we have all made here are forever,” The Audette family and the Village team wrote.
The eatery extended its hours on Monday and Tuesday to give loyal customers a chance to bid farewell. Initially, the Audette’s hoped to remain open until 4 p.m. Wednesday, but the food was completely sold out by 7 p.m. Tuesday.
In the six days since announcing plans to close, more than 4,000 people made their way to the Village to enjoy one final meal.
“Just like that we are saying our final farewells and getting ready to turn the lights off one last time, the restaurant said. “Thank you, everyone, for helping us successfully sell out of food and giving our team an incredible (and exhausting) send-off...We have been honored to serve you.”
Over the years, the Village earned recognition for its fried clams, fish and chips, and clam chowder.
“Next time you enter this building it will have a new sign but we are completely confident that the restaurant will still be full of light, love, and all the same passion behind every dish that the Village provided,” the Audette’s added. “We will see you on the other side of the bar!”
A private appreciation is now planned for Wednesday for employees.
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