Northampton’s Bistro Les Gras ends 12-year run

  • Bistro Les Gras in Northampton Wednesday, December 16, 2020. —STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Bistro Les Gras in Northampton Wednesday, December 16, 2020. —STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

Staff Writer 
Published: 12/16/2020 4:44:03 PM
Modified: 12/16/2020 4:43:53 PM

NORTHAMPTON — Farm-to-fork French restaurant Bistro Les Gras, a high-end fixture next door to the Smith College campus, became the latest local business casualty of the COVID-19 pandemic as it announced its closure online Wednesday.

The announcement marked the end of a 12-year run by the downtown dining establishment, which opened during the Great Recession.

Co-owners and married couple Elizabeth Martinez (manager) and Daniel Martinez (chef), bid their “adieu” in a Facebook post and on their website, thanking community members for their patronage at the restaurant over the years. 

“This is a bittersweet moment for us as we announce that we will not be renewing our lease for Bistro Les Gras,” they wrote Wednesday.

“It has been a wonderful 12 years, but alas, all good things must come to an end. A lot of thoughts crossed our mind as we came to this decision. We thought of our amazing staff over the years, and how many have become some of our dearest friends. We reminisced about all the families we have had the pleasure to watch grow over the years. We thought of our amazing regulars who have become as much a part of our daily lives as our own families, perhaps even more so. It became easy to see that Bistro Les Gras belongs to all of these people as much as it belongs to us. We could not be more proud of that.”

Dozens of patrons also responded to the news with comments over social media. 

“So sad to hear this,” wrote Easthampton resident Mark Izzo. “BLG was one of the first places that I ate at when I moved to western Mass. and was a go-to spot for many a wonderful evening with my wife when we first started dating. Best of luck to both of you!” 

Northampton resident Jordana Starr wrote, “Heartbreaking. BLG was so special and amazing. Please consider publishing a cookbook.” 

The Downtown Northampton Association’s Facebook page also gave their support to the co-owners, writing, “We know this had to be a heart-wrenching decision. Thank you for all you have given to our community.” 

Before closing its doors for good, Bistro Les Gras had planned just to shut down this winter due to the pandemic, according to the restaurant’s website. 

Chris Goudreau can be reached at 


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