Two of downtown Nantucket's dining institutions changed hands last fall, and it's looking increasingly unlikely that either will be open for the summer of 2022.
The Boarding House and The Pearl - two beloved island restaurants - were sold last October by longtime owners Seth and Angela Raynor to Blue Flag Partners. At the time, Blue Flag co-owner Brad Guidi said he anticipated the establishments would reopen under the same names in 2022 after undergoing interior renovations.
But Amy Baxter, the town's licensing administrator, told the Current Wednesday that she had not received any of the permitting applications or license requests from Blue Flag that would be required to reopen the restaurants this season. And, Baxter added, she did not expect to receive any before the summer.
We reached out to Blue Flag this week about the potential for The Boarding House and The Pearl to reopen this year, and heard back from Zoey Gulmi Khoury, the founder and CEO of the Gulmi Group, a public relations agency that handles communications for Blue Flag Partners.
"A lot is in flux at the moment," Gulmi Khoury said in an e-mail. "The pandemic has continued to pose significant challenges for supply chains and the construction market as a whole which has affected Blue Flag as well causing the overall timeline to be pushed back a bit."
Could she be more specific, we asked?
"I can't say at the moment for sure," Gulmi Khoury said. "As you know, many are struggling with supply chain issues so out of their hands."
When the sale of the two restaurants was announced last September, Blue Flag indicated that it was committed to retaining the names of the restaurants and stewarding their decades-long legacies – even down to some of the recipes that have made them island favorites. The $7.2 million sale, which closed in October, included both the real estate and the businesses.
“We’re acutely aware of how important these restaurants are to Nantucket and Nantucket culture, so we’re going to do our best to carry on this legacy and bring it into its next iteration while respecting the history and what everyone loves about The Pearl and The Boarding House,” Guidi said last September. “And we’re fully aware of that challenge, but also excited to thread that needle.”
Among the longest-running restaurants on Nantucket, The Boarding House had been owned and operated by the Raynors since 1991. They took over The Pearl in 1999. The two restaurants were operated as a single entity last summer due to the constraints and challenges of the pandemic, with no bar service and limited seating.