February 12, 2002
After 42 years in business in Dorchester, a favorite neighborhood destination has closed its doors for good. Brigham's, the restaurant and ice cream parlor that has been a mainstay next to Star Market at 90 River Street, shut down on Saturday, Jan. 26th.
According to Brigham's marketing director Darrlyn Leikauskas, the River Street store has not been profitable for several years and keeping it open "just didn't make sense." The closing is not related to next year's closing of the Star Market, which will be replaced with a new Shaw's at 4 River Street closer to Lower Mills village (see related story, page 1). The Star Market will remain open at least until the new Shaw's is up and running, according to store officials.
Brigham's also recently shut down another neighborhood store in West Roxbury, but Leikauskas said that the Brigham's closest to the River Street location- on Blue Hill Ave. in Mattapan Square- will remain open. The company, she said, which maintains 26 shops throughout New England is doing well, but is looking to open smaller stores without sit-down restaurants.
"We want to sell what we do best- ice cream cones, sundaes and frappes," said Leikauskas. "We're still looking for smaller locations and we need high traffic areas."
The Brigham's first opened at 90 River Street in 1960 and was last renovated in 1989. The Arlington-based company began in 1914 as a one store-operation in Post Office Square.
Jim Keefe, whose development company Trinity Financial now owns the property at 90 River Street, says he had hoped Brigham's might stay on as a tenant at the mall. However, Keefe says he will begin meetings soon with community residents to discuss potential new business tenants for the property.