Last call coming for The Depot

The owner of The Depot announced Tuesday that the popular North Abington pub will be closing, although an official date for the last call isn’t yet set. 

“Unfortunately, it is time for us to go. We have been struggling to keep up with the soaring costs to operate and it is no longer feasible. Not the way I saw it ending, but it is the reality,” owner Kathy O’Donovan said in a post on Facebook.

“I will keep you posted on the final closing date as much as I can.”

The Depot is located in a former Old Colony Line railroad station that was built in 1894 by the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad as a peace offering following the North Abington train riot. It is a Richardsonian Romanesque granite-and-brownstone building that was included on the National Register of Historical Places in 1979. It sat vacant for many years after passenger rail service ended in 1959.

The North Abington rail station as it looked in the late 1970s.

It was restored in the mid-80s by George Roberts, who replaced or repaired all the stained glass windows, fixed the roof and floor, and added the second floor, according to Roberts’ brother, Rick. It opened originally as a lounge called The Depot featuring live music before being converted into a restaurant. O’Donovan took over the business in 1999.

“THANK YOU!!!! For 23 years, you have supported our staff, allowed us to be a part of your lives and helped to cement the Depot family in history. I am eternally grateful to have been a recipient or your generosity & kindness,” O’Donovan wrote in her Facebook post.

“The Depot Crew has always been a special group. Throughout the years, they have always shown up, worked hard & been the absolute best people to work with every single day. This camaraderie will never be duplicated & I will cherish it forever.”

The Depot joins a roster of Abington institutions to recently close or announce its intention to end its run.

Bemis Drug filled its last prescription in January 2021. The Lobster Barn served its last platter this past September. And the owners of the Pool Place/Christmas Place announced this will be its last season.

Selectmen Chairman Alex Bezanson said he doesn’t think the business closures are reflective of Abington’s business climate, rather larger macro economic issues. The owners of the businesses, he noted, are all older and had to navigate their shops through a pandemic and record inflation.

“It’s tough for all small businesses,” said Bezanson, a small business owner himself.

He says with the Route 18 widening project finally complete, the town needs to do a better job promoting itself to commercial investors.

“I think we need to get the word out that Abington is open for business,” he said.

Ellen Delany contributed to this report.

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