Michael Schlow Has Closed Happy's, Will Turn it Into a Mexican Concept

The revamped restaurant will open early next month.

The space at Happy’s will be undergoing some major changes. Photo by Charlotte Wilder/Boston Magazine

Michael Schlow’s Fenway restaurant Happy’s closed after service on Saturday night, and will reopen as a Mexican concept, Schlow told us on the phone earlier today. “Business there has been steadily improving, but not enough to warrant keeping it as Happy’s,” Schlow says. The large restaurant space got off to a shaky start when it opened over the summer, though it made strides to improve by tightening up the enormous, cuisine-spanning menu. “You will always have some problems in a restaurant,” Schlow says. “I think what happened in the long run is that we were growing too slowly, and with such a large space we needed more volume and appeal.”

He hopes that Mexican will be the answer—with a quesadilla section of the menu (with fillings ranging from roasted vegetables with tomatillo salsa to less-traditional “Philly cheesesteak”), a slew of margaritas, 70-odd tequilas, guac, a handful of tacos, and bigger plates like chicken and green chile enchiladas. The space will look entirely different (the graphic, graffiti-splashed walls will totally change over), and Schlow will also re-orient the space so that it can be smaller during slower months, and larger during Sox season.

The name of the concept has yet to be finalized, but Schlow says the turnaround will happen quickly, as soon as early February. “Based on all of the feedback and information we have been getting from customers, this was a concept that was very much wanted and would be supported by the neighborhood,” Schlow says. While there’s also the super-casual El Pelon Taqueria and more-upscale La Verdad in the area, there’s always room for pre-game margaritas and nachos. We’ll keep you in the loop as we learn more.

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