Centre Street Sanctuary Seeks to Recruit New Restaurant Quickly

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File photo: Adam Rutstein, owner of Centre Street Sanctuary, stands beside his new outdoor patio space.

Chris Helms

File photo: Adam Rutstein, owner of Centre Street Sanctuary, stands beside his new outdoor patio space.

File photo: Adam Rutstein, owner of Centre Street Sanctuary, stands beside his new outdoor patio space.

Chris Helms

The owner of Centre Street Sanctuary, which shuttered on Sunday, hopes to either bring in a new restaurant or form a partnership to reopen. The landlord of the 365 Centre St. space in the heart of Hyde Square also hopes to see a restaurant in the space soon.

Owner Adam Rutstein broke the news of the closing to patrons via the restaurant's Facebook page on Sunday.

He said the kind words from patrons have been "nice and heartwarming."

"I can’t say enough about Jamaica Plain," he said in a Thursday phone interview.

Rutstein said revenue has been going in the right direction recently, but not enough to make up for losses earlier in the restaurant's two-year history. He said their "Sin Burgers," named for the seven cardinal sins, had been gaining popularity.

New Restaurant — Or a Partnership?

Rutstein is fielding inquiries from potential restauranteurs who wish to open a new restaurant or even partners who'd like to go in on a continuation of the Centre Street Sanctuary concept. It's a 2,226 square foot space at the corner of Centre and Creighton. He declined to say what the rent was, but did say it would be negotiable.

His landlord, Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corp., will have to sign off on any new tenant Rutstein recruits.

"I'd like the new owner to feel a sense of obligation to the community," said Rutstein.

Sally Swenson of the Neighborhood Development Corp. said she hopes the space won't stand empty for long.

"We're sad about Adam closing," the communications director of the non-profit said. "He made a tremendous effort."

She said the Development Corp. prefers that the space again house a restaurant, as opposed to other potential uses of the anchor space. The other retail spaces in the building, which is part of the former Blessed Sacrament Church campus, are all filled.

Weather Not Strictly to Blame

While some restaurants and retailers have reported sales being down as much as 50 percent because of the brutal winter, Rutstein said the closure can't simply be pinned on the weather. While the restaurant lost out on a potentially historic day of revenue from the Valentine's Day storm, which hit on a Saturday, he said they were able to open on many of the snow days and actually were quite busy on several Mondays and Tuesdays during February.

Rotstein praised his staff and said he's been giving recommendations and helping them find new jobs.

"I had a fantastic staff," he said.

If you're interested in starting a restaurant at 365 Centre St., or exploring a partnership with Rutstein, he can be reached at 617-990-4581 or adam@centrestreetsanctuary.com.

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