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Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Last Boston Market in Marion County closes

The last Boston Market in Marion County has permanently shut down, just weeks after the restaurant was forced to close its doors due to food shortages and wage disputes.

On Sunday, August 6, Ocala-News.com first reported that the Boston Market located at 2650 SW College Road had temporarily closed.

A sign posted on the establishment at the time stated, “Due to supply chain shortages, we only have a limited menu for today. Please ask our team for availability of products.”

The following week, Ocala-News.com heard from staff at the restaurant who stated that they were not paid for the last two pay cycles, equating to a month.

“We are trying to reach out to the owners, but they are not answering. No emails. No calls,” said one of the employees.

The employees at the location, along with their manager, decided that they would not open the restaurant back up until they were paid.

On Friday, September 8, Ocala-News.com visited the shuttered restaurant, and blue tarps were covering the signs outside the building.

Boston Market in Ocala (September 8, 2023)
Blue tarps cover the signs at the Boston Market in Ocala (September 8, 2023)

Posted on the front door was a handwritten sign stating, “No Pay No Work.” In addition, numerous items inside the building were in the process of being packaged into boxes.

No Pay No Work sign at Boston Market in Ocala (September 8, 2023)
“No Pay No Work” sign at Boston Market in Ocala (September 8, 2023)
Tables, chairs and boxes at shuttered Boston Market in Ocala (September 8, 2023)
Tables, chairs, and boxes inside the shuttered Boston Market in Ocala (September 8, 2023)

Prior to the closure, staff had dealt with food shortages for several weeks. Ingredients to some of the restaurant’s most popular dishes, like its spiraled mac and cheese, were changed as cost-saving measures.

Boston Market location closure in Ocala
During the initial temporary closure, a handwritten sign at the Boston Market in Ocala mentioned that the doors were closed due to a food shortage

In social media posts and reviews of the local Boston Market, customers reported shortages and changes to classic ingredients in the weeks leading up to the restaurant’s closure.

“The mac n cheese is not their regular noodles…what’s going on at this location,” reads one Google review that was posted shortly before the restaurant closed its doors to the public.

In the past two decades, Boston Market has seen its locations dwindle from 1,200 at its peak to now just over 300 across the United States. Approximately 14% of those remaining restaurants are in the state of Florida.