Ashmont Grill in Dorchester is closing

After nearly two decades, Dorchester restaurant Ashmont Grill is closing. “We have had a great run, our core team has been together from the start, we’ve all gotten older

(especially me), and we are ready for new things,” says chef-owner Chris Douglass. The restaurant’s last day will be sometime around Valentine’s Day. Ashmont Grill opened in

2005, a trailblazer in the Ashmont section of Dorchester, where Douglass has lived since 1987. “My motivation was that I lived in the community and there was no place for people

to go,” he says. The restaurant brought comfort food, cocktails, and a cozy patio with fire pits. “It was the kind of place I felt like people wanted in my neighborhood. When I

opened Ashmont Grill, we had a corner on the market. We brought a lot of fresh eyes to Dorchester in terms of dining opportunities. There are a lot more places now.” Among

them is Douglass’s remaining restaurant, Tavolo, serving Italian fare next to the Ashmont T station. It will remain open. Douglass, who is a core instructor in Boston

University’s Certificate Program in the Culinary Arts, was himself a trailblazer when he opened Ashmont Grill. At the time, he ran upscale restaurant Icarus in the South End (it

closed in 2009). It was unusual then for a high-end chef to open a more-casual neighborhood spot away from the dining fray. “The story of Ashmont Grill, the new shining star in a

gritty part of the city, reads like a made-for-TV movie,” wrote Globe restaurant critic Alison Arnett in her October 2005 review, calling it a “Cinderella story of a

restaurant.”