Column: Requiem for Papa Razzi

By Brian Rosborough
June 8, 2023

Saturday, June 3 was a memorable night at Papa Razzi for residents having our last meal at one of Concord’s favorite restaurants. 

Large families and tables of old friends packed the house. The manager, Julian Maria, carried armloads of dry wood to build a roaring fire that warmed his guests on a chilly June evening. 

Then quite unexpectedly, Maria led the entire staff of 30 able servers, artful Guatemalan chefs, and attentive barkeeps into the center of the already crowded dining room. A proud patron arose, clinking his glass, calling on the room of diners unknown to one another, “to behold these wonderful people who have served you for over 35 years; please show them your appreciation.” 

A spontaneous standing ovation erupted! Tears filled our eyes. The joyful sustained applause both enveloped and amazed the surprised staff, as if they had just sung an aria at the Met and were receiving their first curtain call. It was a Concord goodbye.

The mysterious closing of three popular Concord restaurants on the site has not been fully investigated or explained. Perhaps the Planning Board has answers or the Bridge can learn what’s up? 

The staff members were puzzled by their abrupt dismissal and sad to leave, albeit with offered jobs in other towns. Some say at the land owner’s death, the property was sold by his family to an unnamed developer who plans to demolish the buildings to make way for new tenants not yet disclosed. Eliminating three reliable kitchens and sending loyal trained staff to the winds sounds like locally-prepared ethnic food is not a Concord priority. If that’s the case, in a town where 40 different languages are spoken at home, I may be “Leaving on a Jet Plane,” escaping modernity if and when Massport overcomes the Town’s objections to build and fill 27 hangers of them.