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The Avenue bar in Allston sold to new owner after 13-year run

Posted by Matt Rocheleau  May 5, 2011 07:10 PM

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(Matt Rocheleau for

One of the former bar’s claw crane “Moonlight Catcher” arcade machines, still stocked with prizes, had been wheeled to the sidewalk outside the main entrance, and the building’s front windows were being covered up with brown paper Thursday afternoon.

After a 13-year run, a popular Allston bar and restaurant closed Thursday. The Avenue Bar & Grille was sold to another local owner who plans to re-open under the same name.

Doug Bacon, owner of several area establishments, including White Horse Tavern, purchased The Avenue’s property located on Commonwealth Avenue near its intersection with Harvard Avenue.

“There will be new management, but it will still be The Avenue,” said John Rogaris who sold the property to Bacon. “It will run pretty much the same.”

“My wife and I decided to sell so we could spend more time together watching our kids grow up,” said Rogaris, a Brighton resident who also owns Roggie’s Brew and Grille in Cleveland Circle.

He said several other offers had been made to purchase The Avenue.

“The place is crankin’. It does great [business],” he said Thursday evening by phone.

“I actually took less money, but I did that because I thought the transfer would work much better with Doug,” he added, citing Bacon’s experience managing other restaurant-and-bar businesses in the area.

Rogaris said he wanted to ensure the space was taken over by someone he was confident in because, “This is my neighborhood, too. I love Allston-Brighton.”

Wednesday night, workers and regulars gathered for a small, largely unexpected farewell party capped off with a celebration of a Bruins' victory that gave the hometown team a 3-0 series lead over the Philadelphia Flyers. Meanwhile, word and photos of the closure spread on local blogs.

The Avenue’s employees under former management will be able to reapply under the new management, Rogaris said.

State records show a real estate-purchasing entity Bacon owns, Comm Ave Bricks, LLC, bought the 2,500 square feet of property for $990,000 on Cinco de Mayo. The new owner could not immediately be reached for comment.

Prior to Rogaris’ purchase of the property in 1998 for $465,000, the space was occupied by another longtime bar and restaurant business – Arbuckles.

E-mail Matt Rocheleau at

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