Palazzio owner Ken Boxer with a big bowl of Papa Ruby's Rigatoni in 2009.
Paul Wellman (file)

Palazzio, the family-friendly Italian restaurant located at 1026 State Street, will not reopen after closing more than two years ago for renovations, owner Ken Boxer said this week.

Boxer first opened Palazzio in 1998 and served heaping portions of pasta with the motto “People don’t leave here hungry.” The restaurant had a unique honor system wine service that invited guests to self-serve their vino from a communal cask, and it featured a replica painting of the Sistine Chapel on its ceiling.

In September 2015, Boxer closed Palazzio for repairs after severe water damage was discovered in the subfloors and crawlspaces located under the kitchen. Inspections suggested the damage was the result of poor installation work by Diversified Coating and Linings Inc. back in 2006, according to David Tappenier, Boxer’s attorney.

Boxer wound up suing Diversified and the building’s owner, Victoria Kearny, for not designing the subspaces with proper ventilation. The claims against Kearny were settled, said Tappenier, while the lawsuit against Diversified is still pending. Kearny’s representative did not immediately respond to requests for comments.

Over the next two years, the restaurant remained closed due to delays in acquiring building permits and time spent meeting with architects and contractors, Boxer said. He remembered there was “lots of downtime.”

On June 1, 2018, Kearney did not renew Palazzio’s lease. Boxer described his relationship with his former landlord as “amicable.” “She made a business decision,” he said. “I have to live by it.” The newly emptied space is yet another among State Street’s record vacancies.

Boxer said he’s still exploring the possibility of reopening Palazzio at a different location, but he couldn’t say when that might be.


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