Carbone's Restaurant in Hopkinton, MA has been a community staple since 1933 when Edward Carbone first opened it as The Good Fellows Club. Now, 87 years later, and after 40 years of running the family business, brother and sister Peter Carbone and MaryAnn Lorentzen are throwing in the towel.
The pair represent the third generation of Carbones to run the beloved establishment which specializes in classic Italian dishes.
“It is with very mixed emotion and great reluctance that the Carbone family announces the closing, or hopefully, the potential sale of our family run restaurant after 87 years in business,” Peter Carbone wrote in a letter to customers last weekend.
Carbone and Lorentzen say their decision has nothing to do with the COVID-19 pandemic. They are simply ready to retire and their children are not interested in taking over the business.
“Our ages played a big role in it,” Carbone said in an interview with the Daily News, although he declined to divulge his or his sister's age. “It’s something we’ve thought about for awhile.”
It was difficult news for the restaurant’s most loyal customers who have been coming to the restaurant for decades, Carbone said.
“A lot of these customers came here as kids and they may be now bringing their grandchildren. I hear stories all the time,” he said. “Someone told me just last night, he’s been married since 1974 and he took his wife here on his second date.”
Regular customer, Cindy Drisko, said she has been eating at the restaurant since she was 2 years old, and even celebrated her 50th wedding anniversary at the Carbone's.
"It's just a special place for us," she said. "It's really going to be sad to see it go."
In his letter to customers, Carbone said he thought of them as members of his family.
“This restaurant has been our life and the lives of two generations of family that preceded us. It has been an incredible run that regretfully will end soon,” he wrote. “Let’s just say it is time for us to begin a new chapter in our lives. We can never thank everybody enough for your loyalty and support over the years, and for being a part of this journey with us.”
There has been some interest in bringing in new management, but if that does not come to fruition, Carbone's is expected to close within the next four to six weeks.