Lynn’s Landscape Changes as Lynnway Closures Continue

The Porthole Restaurant has been a fixture on the Lynnway in Lynn, Massachusetts, for five decades. It will soon fade quietly into North Shore history.

"We opened the door with a lot of red in our eyes and red in our checkbook," said owner Robert Gaudet.

In 1967, Gaudet and his brother started the popular restaurant and pub. It's now set to close, along with a couple of other Lynnway institutions, reshaping the city and its future.

"I'm going to miss all the icons of what the city used to be," said Maryellen Smith. "I'm going miss all that."

With its roof-top milk truck and iconic cylinders, Garelick Farms plans to shut down its Lynnway plant this fall. The old Christie's take-out restaurant at the Nahant Rotary is now a pile of rubble. It's still unclear what's going to happen with those key properties.

"I don't know how the changes are going to affect Lynn. I hope something positive can come from it," said Elaine Donovan.

Gaudet is getting out with mixed feelings. His restaurant with waterfront views of Boston will one day become high-end condos. There's still no specific closing date, but Gaudet knows the time is right for him to retire.

"When I was reading children's books to my kids, they had a Dr. Seuss book," Gaudet said. "Marvin K. Mooney said, 'The time has come and the time is now."

Given these changes, the Lynnway will be a different place in time. Whether that's a good thing remains to be seen.

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