We heard from a reader that the much-loved Lower Falls area eatery, Mark’s Pizza & Subs, closed since early summer, was in the process of being torn down. The neighborhood institution has indeed been flattened to make way for a parking lot for Papa Razzi, itself temporarily closed while they renovate the interior, tweak the menu, and put in an outdoor seating area.
I spoke to Dean Behrend of Behrend Construction who was on hand at the work site. His crew had been tasked with tearing down Mark’s. The bear of a man said it was a bear of a job, given the concrete and steel the building was made of. But they did it, and will now turn their attention to the clean-up phase. The company is also part of the team working on the other components of making Papa Razzi Wellesley-ready once more. “They renovated only about five years ago,” Behrend said, “but restaurants get a lot of wear and tear.”
In a competitive restaurant climate, it’s update or go down because no eatery wants the dreaded social media comment, “the interior is a little dated,” applied to their place.
Unless you’re Mark’s and part of the local institution’s fanatical fan base. Where others see “dated”, that fan base sees the shared history of so many, many pizzas, subs, chicken tenders, and more. These are the folks who can’t understand why anyone would pave the paradise that was Mark’s and put in a parking lot. Well, what’s done is done.
But there’s hope. Mark’s website notes, “We are currently closed as we prepare our new location 10B Washington Street. We apologize for the inconvenience and hope to see you when we reopen.” No word on when that will be, and the phone number dials to a recording that says the number has been “temporarily disconnected.” So those hungry for Mark’s will have to hang their hopes on those positive signs and hope that it will indeed soon rise from the rubble and reincarnate over at 10B Washington St.
While I was there taking pics I had the opportunity to meet one of Swellesley’s great news sources, who just so happened along and introduced herself, so that was fun. “Make sure you use that paradise line you just said. That was a good one.” She’s got a nose for news and an ear for dialogue, so yup, I put it in.
Michael Capecci says
Don’t tell Joni Mitchell but this smells like Tian Fu all over again. Who remembers that little Asian eatery symbiotically attached to the STAR Market for nearly three decades, until the Whole Foods renovation caused them to shutter abruptly. I hope Mark’s does return, as a 20+ year resident of the Lower Falls neighborhood, I was saddened to find it demolished yesterday. As I texted pictures to my now grown children of the still hot, barren asphalt, they too responded Dad, they paved paradise put up a parking lot? Marks a 40 plus year word of mouth off the beaten path, backwater with a “cult like following” is and was a fixture of leafy green salads, pizza, Greek goodness including gyros grape leaves and all things “broasted” including the best boneless Buffalo wings this side of Lake Erie. Even if they do-reopen over at 10B Washington, one thing will be lost, the mystique and charm associated with a sub shop that had no visible signage indicating it‘s existence, that could seen from a public street unless you were in the parking lot of another restaurant and thus was forced to built it’s reputation on old fashioned word of mouth Mayberry USA gossipy rhetoric and had done so with great pride.