Playska Shutters After Less Than Six Months

Chef Tim Wiechmann's Balkan sandwich shop has served its final playska, kolaches, and burek.


Playska, shuttered during dinner hours on April 12. / Photo by Jacqueline Cain

Tim and Bronwyn Wiechmann developed the concept for their fast-casual, Eastern European-inspired third concept, Playska, over several months of “prototype nights” at their home base, Bronwyn. But as its own idea, the sandwich shop didn’t last six months. Playska has closed. Eater Boston noticed a farewell sign in the windows of the Inman Square bakery last night.

Reached this morning, Tim Wiechmann says it wasn’t the food that led to Playska’s end. It was the format. Operating a breakfast-and-lunch spot is a different beast from his fine dining T.W. Food in North Cambridge, and Union Square’s biergarten Bronwyn.

“We started out trying new things, because that’s also a big part of [what we do],” Wiechmann says. “But we were misaligned on certain things. It’s a different business. There are people that do that business really well, but it’s not really who Bronwyn and I are. It was difficult to do, because we’re such hands-on operators. It was a lot of learning. Concept-wise, too. It was so different [from other sandwich shops]. There were some uphill battles about introducing what it was.”

The Wiechmanns briefly considered adjusting the Eastern European theme and transitioning it into Bronwyn’s Deli, as Boston Restaurant Talk reported, but “we decided we didn’t really want a deli. That was the issue; not the concept,” Wiechmann says. “You have to have your trials and your errors. I have no regrets about it.”

Playska was named for a street food favorite in the Balkans, the pljeskavica, a pork and beef patty topped with pepper ajvar and house-made pickles. The quick-service lunch spot also earned accolades for its vegetarian options, fluffy kolaches in the mornings, and savory stuffed burek.

“There are some menu items that I really love there. The cvapi sausages and the kolaches are really special. I don’t know where I will find a home for them at the moment, but they will be back,” Wiechmann says.

The 16-seat Playska opened at the end of October in the former Rosie’s Bakery, which also happens to be Legal Sea Foods’ original location. It’s less than a mile from Bronwyn.

Playska, closed at 243 Hampshire St., Inman Square, Cambridge,