Chefs

Barbara Lynch Charged with a DUI in Gloucester

The Boston chef discusses substance abuse in her new memoir.

Barbara Lynch photo by Michael Prince provided

Barbara Lynch photo by Michael Prince

UPDATE, August 18, noon: Barbara Lynch has agreed to accept the terms of the court following her arrest for driving under the influence in Gloucester last month. The chef’s full statement:

Today, I agreed to accept the terms of the Court, known legally as a “continuance without a finding.” This means that I will avoid the stress of a drawn-out legal proceeding and be able to focus on my health, the growth of my business, and achieving work/life balance.

Since the accident, I have spent my time mostly with family and close friends–healing, exercising, and eating nourishing meals. I have apologized to my work family for embarrassing them by the decision I made to drive home late at night and for thinking that I was invulnerable to the effects of stress and fatigue. I remain grateful that no one else was injured.

I have been so privileged to work with great people, to earn the trust of investors, partners and employees, and to build a business that has contributed to the city I love and supported the livelihoods of so many. I will continue to invest in people, places, and ideas–more appreciative than ever of the value of our work.

I have preached to my employees the need to nurture themselves, to be educated, to pursue their dreams. To succeed in any business, it takes hard work and commitment. And it’s easy for life to get out of balance. It’s easy to lose sight of one’s own personal health and needs.

I look forward to creating more balance in my life and helping others do the same. I will also continue to focus the energies of the Barbara Lynch Gruppo on projects that are purposeful—that contribute to the strength of communities and the wellness of people.

My employees remain a priority. The passionate and talented individuals who elect a career in hospitality choose to do so because of a love for what they do. The Barbara Lynch Gruppo will continue to capture that passion and energize it in creative and purposeful ways.

PREVIOUSLY:

Gloucester police have charged chef Barbara Lynch with driving under the influence after she allegedly crashed into a parked truck early Tuesday morning, the Gloucester Times first reported. The restaurateur behind Boston institutions like No. 9 Park, Menton, and Drink, failed field sobriety tests and registered a .159 blood-alcohol level (the legal limit is .08), according to the report. Lynch told police she might have fallen asleep behind the wheel, and that she was driving home from work at 4:34 a.m. Lynch lives in the Gloucester neighborhood of Annisquam, per the newspaper.

It’s no secret that the restaurant industry is rife with substance abuse—in fact, Barbara Lynch discusses this in her memoir, Out of Line: A Life of Playing With Fire, which came out in April. The South Boston native shares in the book that she learned in adulthood that her father died of alcoholism, and she also shares that colleagues from the Barbara Lynch Gruppo encouraged her to go to rehab for alcohol abuse in 2014.

“In the work-hard, play-hard restaurant world, with brutal hours and killer stress, lots of people have substance issues,” Lynch writes. “Fewer kitchens are coke-stoked than in the past, but with fine wines and spirits always on hand, drinking is an occupational hazard… I own what’s been called the best cocktail bar in the world, for Christ’s sake, though I myself can’t metabolize liquor. That’s ironic.”

A spokesperson for the Barbara Lynch Gruppo, which is also behind Sportello, Stir, the Butcher Shop, and B&G Oysters, shares the following statement: “Chef Barbara was involved in a car accident early Tuesday morning. There was damage to her car and a parked vehicle, and Chef was shaken up, but no one else was injured. For that, she is extremely grateful however still understandably upset. As details are gathered, we’ll be able to provide more information.”

In addition to running seven BLG properties, Lynch also partners with Eataly Boston’s Il Pesce restaurant, and Boston Harbor Islands concessions. She is the only chef represented in this year’s Time 100.