Spoke Wine Bar Will Close Late in 2016

Owner Felisha Foster plans to shutter the Somerville jewel on December 22, as she has stepped aside for health reasons.

Spoke Wine Bar

Photo by Jared Kuzia for “Best Wine Bar in Boston 2016”

At the end of the year, Davis Square will be down an independent restaurant that not only brought a world-class wine program to the neighborhood, but also created some of the most exciting food. Spoke Wine Bar will shutter December 22, 2016, after owner Felisha “Flea” Foster has been managing it from afar for much of the year because of serious health problems.

“[T]his is not an ideal way to run a business,” she wrote in an announcement on Spoke’s Facebook page last night. “This is especially true for someone like me whose goal was to not only discover amazing wine, but to be in the trenches every night sharing this experience with each and every one of my guests and staff.”

Spoke, a cozy sliver next door to Dave’s Fresh Pasta, opened in 2013. Foster, formerly a college basketball coach, had pivoted to the wine world and was Dave’s wine buyer at the time. She envisioned Spoke as not just a place to discover atypical wines, but also high-caliber, artisan food, craft cocktails, and an intimate dining experience.

With former No. 9 Park executive sous chef John daSilva in the kitchen since day one, by all accounts, Spoke nailed it. It landed on Boston magazine’s Best Restaurants list for the first time in 2014, and reigns as the Best of Boston Wine Bar champion since opening. With inventive small plates like cornmeal pancakes with Jonah crab salad, and duck meatballs with a smoked ajoblanco sauce, daSilva became a rising star to keep an eye on and was Boston’s best Up-and-Coming Chef in 2015.

Chefs like Ana Sortun (Sarma, Oleana) and Michael Scelfo (Alden & Harlow, Waypoint) have been vocal about their love for the place since it opened. Foster says she is hopeful that someone in the restaurant industry will be interested in buying Spoke to “continue what we started,” she wrote.

The restaurant owner thanked her staff individually, including daSilva, general manager Jen Gifford, and assistant wine buyer Liz Mann, by name, in her Facebook eulogy. “It is a testament to my incredible staff that they have managed to soldier on without me for so long. Every single one of them (and I am going to name them here) deserves prodigious praise and gratitude,” she wrote.

Spoke Wine Bar is open for dinner Tuesday-Saturday, and it will be “business as usual” for the two and a half months.

89 Holland St., Somerville, 617-718-9463, spokewinebar.com.