Bertucci’s closes its Amherst restaurant after 25 years

Staff Writer
Monday, April 16, 2018

AMHERST — Bertucci’s, a brick oven pizzeria and Italian restaurant that has been part of Amherst’s dining scene for more than 25 years, closed Sunday as part of a bankruptcy filing by the Northborough chain.

The closing of the Amherst location at 51 East Pleasant St., along with five others across the state, including locations in Longmeadow and West Springfield, comes as Bertucci’s announced that it filed voluntary petitions for relief under Chapter 11 in the United States Bankruptcy Court.

Bertucci’s CEO Brian Wright said in a statement that 59 Bertucci’s locations remain open for business, while 15 closed.

The company, he added, anticipates completing a restructuring process so that it can emerge under new ownership, an improved financial position and a stronger brand.

“Today’s filing is expected to be seamless for Bertucci’s guests, trading partners and vendors, and result in minimal disruption to its operations, allowing us to strengthen the company’s financial structure and position it for significant future growth,” Wright said.

A generic message on the Amherst restaurant’s answering machine informs customers that the location is now closed, and no messages left would be checked: “Thank you to so many for your loyal patronage. It has been our pleasure to serve so many wonderful guests in this location.”

The loss of Bertucci’s leaves another void in sit-down restaurants in downtown Amherst, with Fratelli’s Ristorante on Boltwood Walk shuttering in late 2017 and The Lumber Yard on Main Street closing last summer. Chez Albert on North Pleasant Street recently announced it would end its 13-year run at the end of May.

Bertucci’s opened in December 1992 at the site of the former Rowe’s Chrysler-Plymouth car dealership, which became Amherst Chrysler-Plymouth in 1980. The building, owned by Central Amherst Realty Trust of Westborough, was completely renovated prior to the restaurant opening.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at smerzbach@gazettenet.com.