Post 154 restaurant closes at former postal landmark
Updated 5:21 am, Friday, January 22, 2016
A restaurant that opened with fanfare in a downtown landmark has closed after little more than two years.
Post 154, which open in August 2013 in the 80-year-old brick building at 154 Post Road East that once housed the town’s main U.S. Post Office, closed this week. The building was acquired from the Postal Service by an investment group in May 2011 for $2.35 million, and plans to develop a restaurant at the site were announced a year later.
Geoffrey Fischer, who had been general manager of Post 154, said the large size of the restaurant — the main floor encompasses about 4,650 square feet — apparently was a factor in the owners’ decision to close.
“I’ve been here since July and it’s just never filled to capacity on a regular basis,” Fischer said Monday. “Unfortunately, we never hit the market with the community strongly enough ... It’s hard to make the whole building feel like its buzzing because it’s very big.
“The bar area could be really full and happening and really buzzing, and then people would walk in and be like, ‘Oh, there’s nothing going on here,’ so that has been a particular challenge. It’s 200 seats easily, there’s not a restaurant in town with as many seats as we have. It would astound me that a place like The Whelk with 50 seats would do 300 on Saturday and we would do 180.”
Fischer said he was notified of the restaurant’s closing via text message Monday morning. “I got a text at 11:15 from the guy who hired me saying that the owners decided to close it, and I said when and they said right this second, so, that’s my job.”
Fischer said in the coming days the business will “donate the food that you can to charity, find a home for the stuff, you’ve gotta make sure the staff is all paid, you’ve gotta make sure the vendors are all paid, you have to scrub everything and lay proper pest control, close out the office and call it a day.”