LYNN — Another downtown restaurant says goodbye. District 45 is out and Bonefish Harry’s is in.
The Lewis Street restaurant, which opened last June, will celebrate this week as its last one being open for business.
The business was originally owned by Good NU Hospitality, with David Rosenberg as the owner and Henry Pariseau as the president. They brought on Corey O’Shea as a partner and head chef, given he’s a local guy who knows the area very well, and Tony Ciampo as the general manager.
After six months, Rosenberg decided to sell and Pariseau decided he was ready to buy, but he wanted to move in a new direction, according to O’Shea. After the transaction was final, the original head chef and general manager decided they did not want be a part of the changes.
“I’m sad to see it go,” said Ciampo. “It’s a chapter of my life that now I’m really closing the door on. It was like leaving my wife, really tough to do, because there was so much time invested between all the long nights, days, weekends, and holidays trying to keep up.”
Earlier this year Pariseau started his own hospitality group, Thirsty Butcher Hospitality Group, and opened the first restaurant, Bonefish Harry’s, in mid-March. It’s a family-oriented seafood saloon featuring fresh local fish, $4 fish tacos, and a retro 1950s era tiki bar. When he bought District 45, he knew he wanted to expand the Beverly restaurant and bring it to Lynn.
“We’ll bring the same thing we are doing in Beverly to this location,” said Pariseau. “We want to make sure everyone feels welcomed and like they are on vacation in Lynn 365 days a year.”
Pariseau said the neighborhood near Lewis Street is great and he knows there is a lot of potential there. Before he bought District 45, Pariseau worked very closely with the original hospitality group. He played a role in helping find the location for it and designing the restaurant’s exterior and interior designs. The new owner said he believes the original owner gave up before fully giving it a chance.
When he bought it, Pariseau knew he didn’t want to keep the District 45 ambiance or its menu because he believes Lynn needed something different. Bonefish Harry’s will be a complete switch from District 45’s formal, sit down setting. Lynn is ready for something young, fresh, and fun, he said. The location’s newest establishment will be decked out with decorations that will exude an island vibe, something the downtown area doesn’t have yet.
“It’s something different and I think people will like it,” he said. “We’re so close to the water and will be offering a variety of fresh fish options. Guests can choose their way through the menu, so there’s a little something for everyone.”
The tables where families will sit are going to have chalkboard tabletops, so guests can leave their own mark on the restaurant. After Aug. 5, the business will be closed for renovations. The new business is slated to open at the end of August, right before Labor Day weekend.
In regards to Ciampo’s comments that it isn’t the easiest location to run a restaurant, Pariseau said he is prepared for whatever obstacles come his way. Complaints over parking have been coming in since District 45’s grand opening, but the new owner plans to use the parking lot across the street. He says people really missed the fact the 22 parking spot lot was there, so he plans to let guests know it’s available, such as finding a way to lighten it up.
When it opens, Bonefish Harry’s will start with dinner seven days a week and brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. They hope to test out a lunch menu sometime in September after they get through the restaurant’s opening.
“I think Lynn as a city is coming up and people are investing a lot of money here,” he said. “I hope it keeps its roots and its character as all this continues to change. I also hope all this change is for the better.”
To honor the many loyal customers who have dined and drank at District 45 for the last year, Pariseau will host a party this Sunday from 1-4:30 p.m. Hats and t-shirts with District 45 labeled on them will be given out and The Few Abide will perform live. Food selections will be a number of BBQ dishes and a few samples from the Bonefish Harry’s menu. Pariseau hopes to send the restaurant off on a good note.
“District 45 has been great so we want make sure we send it off on a good note. We will make it a good time because we don’t want it to be a depressing last day,” said Pariseau.
“I wish them the best of luck,” said Ciampo. “I’m still not sure about the location but tiki is a game-changer because no one is doing that on the North Shore. The restaurant industry is tough and we want to see everyone in the area succeed.”