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Thursday, May 30, 2024

Since closing in Ocala, Boston Market has closed all its Florida restaurants

Since it closed its last restaurant in Marion County this past August, Boston Market has closed every other location around the state of Florida and most around the nation.

Ocala-News.com first reported the temporary closure of the Boston Market located at 2650 SW College Road in Ocala on August 6, 2023. At the time, a sign posted on the establishment stated that the venue was closed due to food shortages and wage disputes.

Several weeks after the temporary shutdown, Boston Market permanently closed its last location in Marion County.

At the time of the Ocala restaurant’s closure, there were still at least 300 Boston Market locations in operation around the country. Around 14% of those locations were in the state of Florida.

Now, there are just over two dozen restaurants in operation, with none located in the state of Florida. The former Ocala site sits vacant with a “For Lease” sign that recently exhibited a “pending” designation.

The closed Boston Market in Ocala on April 4, 2024
The former location of Boston Market in Ocala. (Photo: April 4, 2024)

In the weeks leading up to the closure of the last restaurant in Ocala, employees and management decided they would not open the restaurant until they were paid. In email correspondence to Ocala-News.com, staff said they had not been paid for at least a month leading to the closure.

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

No Pay No Work sign at Boston Market in Ocala (September 8, 2023)
Employees posted a “No Pay No Work” sign at Boston Market in Ocala after allegedly not being paid. (September 8, 2023)

Prior to the closure, staff allegedly 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, according to staff.

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

Founded in 1985, at its peak, the restaurant chain managed over 1,000 locations across the United States.

The Boston Market in Ocala was situated near at least three other national brands that have also closed locations in Ocala as part of nationwide closures in recent years: Krystal’s, Pier One Imports, and Bed Bath and Beyond.