Last fall, we reported that a Cambridge restaurant was in the middle of a controversy that could ultimately decide the fate of the place, and last month the dining spot lost its chef de cuisine in part over the issue. Now we have learned that the city has come down with a decision that could have serious repercussions for the eatery.
According to an article in The Boston Globe, city health officials have ordered Shepard to stop cooking with wood and charcoal, with the ruling taking effect immediately. The decision was made following neighbors complaining about smoke coming from its wood-fired oven, and while the city understands that owners Rene Becker and Susan Regis have tried to ease the smoke problem by taking such steps as installing a vent scrubber system, using wood that causes less smoke, and substituting charcoal for wood more frequently, the smoke issue is still serious enough in the eyes of health officials to rule against the restaurant.
Earlier, Becker had said that if the city decides to keep Shepard from using a wood-fired oven, they would likely close the place down; Becker declined to comment on today's decision, telling the Globe that he had not yet read it.
The address for Shepard is 1 Shepard Street, Cambridge, MA, 02138. Its website is at http://www.shepardcooks.com/home
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