Walden Grille Closes Its Doors

The downtown eatery has served its final meal.


After 25 years in business, the has closed its doors for good.

Would-be patrons and passersby received the news early this week from a sign printed in all capital letters and posted in the restaurant's front window, reading: "WALDEN GRILLE IS CLOSED."

Co-owner Brian Jaymes confirmed yesterday the closure is permanent. According to Jaymes, the Walden Grille had simply run its course.

"Every place has its life expectancy," he said. "We just thought it was the best thing to do.

"We just thank everybody," Jaymes added. "But it was time."

The restaurant is currently for sale.

"I loved that place. It was the closest thing Concord had to a pub," said one patron saddened by the news of the restaurant's closing. "The Grille was my favorite drop-in-for-lunch place … [I] ate there almost once a week."

Do you have any memories of enjoying a meal or drinks with friends at the Walden Grille? Share your thoughts on the restaurant's closing in the comment section below.

Dian Francesca Cuccinello January 03, 2012 at 01:52 PM
I'm stunned!!! This place has been a favorite of mine, my friends, and my family for years! What do they mean when they say, "The restaurant has run its course, and that a restaurant has a life expectancy?" I hope some wonderful person buys it, and hires an awesome chef. Sigh and sniff, sniff. So sad.
Janet Beyer January 03, 2012 at 03:52 PM
Agreed, Dian. To me Walden Grill was the neighborhood pub.
Jim Trant January 03, 2012 at 04:00 PM
My wife and I moved to Concord a bit before Walden Station (as it was originally known) opened up. After looking for a pub in the Colonial Inn, the Willow Pond, and numerous other sites, we thought it was a godsend to have Walden open right in Concord Center. Over the past 28 or so years, I am sure that I visited Walden ~1500 times. I got to know the owners - Jack and Brian - and consider them friends. I made local contacts there that helped us with contractors, legal advice, and tips on the town and in Boston. Since the mid-90s, friends and co-workers have been meeting there regularly most Fridays. We always had a nucleus and that expanded as other like-minded souls had similar schedules. An end of an era for sure! I wish the owners good fortune in their future endeavors; I hope the staff can use their experience for new and exciting opportunities, and I trust my friends and I will find a new gathering spot and frequently reminisce about Walden.
Aric Becker January 03, 2012 at 04:56 PM
Jim, I know its alittle far, but The Tango Grill would be honored to host Beer Fridays. And as an ex employee, it was regulars like you and Julie who really made the place what it was. Along with some really special fellow employees.
Dan Beach January 03, 2012 at 05:01 PM
Whenever I returned to Concord, my first stop was always Walden Grille. It was a sure thing that I'd run into people I knew. It was the "Cheers" of Concord, a "place to go where everybody knows your name." The town was much richer for it. 25 years was a great run under the same ownership, but once again Concord surrenders a tradition and loses part of its warmth. Concord will never be what a lot of us think of as "the way it was." But it is slowly losing its soul.
julie trainor January 03, 2012 at 10:35 PM
To everyone who supported the Walden Grille over the years, I wish to thank them all personally. After 17+ years there I am very saddened that I will not be behind the bar anymore. I met alot of wonderful people who became good friends and regular customers. I hope to continue working somewhere in Concord, and I will keep in touch with people who want to know where I will be next. Thanks again for everything. If anyone wants to be in touch with me, my number is (978) 314-3630. Thanks again. Julie Trainor
Aric Becker January 04, 2012 at 01:16 AM
I echo the sentiments by Julie Trainor. I was with the Walden Grille for 11 years, as a Bartender, waiter, and up until 1 and a half years ago the GM. A year ago I opened the Tango Grill in Chelmsford. www.tangogrillcafe.com. As a service for Walden Grille customer's now need a place to eat, I will be offering 20% entire Dinner bill to ex Walden Grille customers.......OK, more of a shameless promotion, but you wont be sorry, the food is amazing. OpenDinners Tues thru Sat 5-9
Ken Wells January 04, 2012 at 01:36 AM
It's been a few years since I've been back to the "Firehouse Lounge" , but I must admit to be affected by the news . I had some great times there , and met some wonderful people !!!! Back in the day the place was a BEAST .... we made a lot of dough, and had a ton of laughs !! Honorable mentions go to ... Howard, and Marybeth, the Trants , Freddie Mac ( you cheap scottsman ), Gentleman Jim , Beatlejuice , Jimmy O'Brien , Pete Degeleke , Bo , Copter , Winnie , the Menehans , Dan Beach ( yes you Dan ), Duffy Brent , Bill Healy , Dick , and Doris . And it was a pleasure to work along side the likes of Herbert J, Renildo (take a break ?), Vernon , coach Hamilton, Aric , Patty W , Beans , Frank , Silencio , McDougal , Wayne the man Wyman, and you Jack Grant !!! If I missed anyone , sorry .... i can blame it on the woodshed !!!! Thanx for the memorys !!!! KW
Karl Zachar January 04, 2012 at 05:25 PM
The Walden Grille was an incredible asset to our community. So sad it's closing it's doors.
Linda Reynolds January 06, 2012 at 01:47 AM
As neighbors and frequent diners, we are also saddened by the closing of Walden Grille. In fact, we had our first date there. But as retirees, we wish Jack & Brian all the best in the next stage of their lives.
Chuck Wozniak January 09, 2012 at 02:56 AM
too bad.... the owners should have had the decency to plan for continuity. Retiring is no excuse to neglect customers who made them so much money and make the announcement with a silly printout posted at the door. One of the owners was often there and was never friendly anyway, never smiled, never said hi, never engaged, etc..so I did not expect any forward thinking from them. the food menu was stagnant, but the staff was superb and wishing them the best. I only hope some more business savvy and more human owner would take over soon...
Susan Hayes January 16, 2012 at 06:45 PM
Julie, This is horrible. Just saw the sign yesterday when we went to go to lunch. Hope you found something new. What about Jim? Susan Hayes
LC January 19, 2012 at 12:17 AM
Hey Julie, I was wondering why you gave us Mark's business card the week before the closing! I hope another Grille goes in so you can come back and make my martini's! We miss you already! Liz and the other Desperate Housewives
Nancy Fisher February 15, 2012 at 05:12 PM
Heartbreaking, but let's hope for the same outcome as when Harvest closed in Harvard Square. It reopened with the same name and even better food! Miss you, Jim!
Reggie February 21, 2012 at 02:24 AM
It was a great place, lots of memories . I feel sorry about it. I'll never forget the time that i spent there. Miss you folks!
Brian Comeau November 05, 2012 at 01:20 AM
They did not retire. I was the sous chef there and they just couldn't make ends meet despite trying there hardest and getting hurried in debt for us. I commend them for everything they did and am lucky to have such great bosses. Julie . Hope everything worked out for you.


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