Has Newton's South Pacific Restaurant Closed its Doors?

Some conflicting signs on the Polynesian restaurant are leaving some wondering -- but is the restaurant, which been a Newton landmark for decades, finally gone?


Well, it certainly appears that way.

After decades as a landmark at Newton's Four Corners, has posted a sign on its door that reads:

"South Pacific has closed its doors. Thank you for your patronage all these years."

However, there is also a sign on the door that reads "closed for renovation." 

Nevertheless, the door remains locked and phone calls made Thursday evening did not ring through to an employee. There is also no message on the phone line. 

According to the city assessor's database, the property (1152 Beacon St.) is owned by South 1 Realty LLC. The most recent sale date was October 2010. 

The property, which includes retail stores from 1144-1152 Beacon St., was assessed in fiscal 2012 at $1.8 million. 

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Additional information on the status of the restaurant was not available at press time. Newton Patch will update this story with additional information as soon as it becomes available. 

Patch correstpondent and freelance writer contributed to this report.

UPDATED Sept. 13, 2:55 p.m. - Thanks to commenter Deb S. for letting us (and former South Pacific patrons) know about a memorial page that has been set up for the restaurant on Facebook

How do you feel about the closure of South Pacific? Make sure to leave your memories and comments below! 

Mark Golden September 11, 2012 at 01:45 PM
Say it ain't so Joe, Say it ain't so! South Pacific was one of the reasons I moved back to Newton after living in hell for 8 years. (Hell is called Florida by people who have not lived there). It was South Pacific and Jade Island (later morphed intoTang Dynasty) that I grew up on. It was old style (Manderin, Cantonese, Polynesian) that I grew up with and craved, especially after the lack of "Boston Style Chines Food in, OK, Florida. Granted, the place looked the same as it did going back to the late '60's, but the service was always good and the food, especially the first time there after moving back, brought tears to my eyes. A few months ago, my cousin who grew up here and has been living in the Atlanta area came up for a visit along with her two teenage kids. First stop, South Pacific. Both kids were amazed that the food was as good as their Mom told them it would be! Ah, the memories. But they will probably remain memories, unless they are really going to renovate the restaurant and will reopen as the New South Pacific with the same great menu! I certainly hope so. I pray that it will not reopen as a bank!
Charlie King September 12, 2012 at 11:26 PM
So sad. I've been going there for 45 years and each time we make the trip from Los Angeles back to Boston, its our first stop. We were just there on August 29 and the food was as good as ever. This is a heartbreak.
James Goldberg September 13, 2012 at 12:38 PM
South Pacific back in the day was The old style Chinese Restaurant. In the 70's -South Pacific was pack with people- lines out the door and wait times up to hour. The management knew everybody, who came thru the door. It was The place to be in Newton - I know that hard to believe - I have great memories of the old place- It will be missed.
Deb S. September 13, 2012 at 06:34 PM
There is already a South Pacific Memorial page on Facebook for those of you who are grieving the loss of this most wonderful Newton landmark. http://www.facebook.com/#!/southpacificmemorial
Melanie Graham (Editor) September 13, 2012 at 06:53 PM
Thanks for this, Deb!
Deb S. September 13, 2012 at 07:20 PM
You are so welcome!! Spread the word..."Like" the page!!!
Wendy Schapiro September 13, 2012 at 07:27 PM
How awesome is that memorial page?! I hope that the owners/proprietors of South Pacific get a chance to see it; there is a LOT of love goin' on there!
Jonathan Sriberg September 13, 2012 at 07:32 PM
Melanie - Come join us on the page! Do you have any additional info/details? There's already over 150 mourners wondering what the story is!
Jonathan Sriberg September 13, 2012 at 07:36 PM
Wendy - I couldn't believe how fast people poured on. We created it literally hours after this article started flying around and the love started flying. Hoping to find a bunch of pictures from the 70's/80's. If the proprietors needed some money for renovations in order to stay open I'm willing to wager we could raise some funds!
Melanie Graham (Editor) September 13, 2012 at 07:36 PM
Already joined! Thanks for the invite. I've been working on more info this week but running into more dead ends. I will certainly update as soon as I have something for you!
Jonathan Sriberg September 13, 2012 at 07:38 PM
Awesome! Thanks! (And you're wicked lucky that people honor the 'Don't Kill the Messenger' policy) :-)
Wendy Schapiro September 13, 2012 at 11:38 PM
Jon, the fact that it's YOU who is running the page (and I assume are connected to Deb in some way) is HILARIOUS considering the comments on my post re. the Hong Kong. As I said over there, as soon as WE know anything, you guys will too!
Jonathan Sriberg September 14, 2012 at 03:16 AM
Deb happens to be my sister! The page evolved from a chat we had right after reading the article (after convincing one-another not to commit suicide) where Deb said "Hey! We should totally do a FB page" Well, that was all the encouragement I needed. LOL.
ken cohen September 15, 2012 at 01:31 AM
I remember when "Mansfield", was the head guy greeting customers at the front door. I've been a customer for 50 years, though when I was a child, I didn't like chinese food yet, so my parents would bring a cheese sandwich for me. My mother tells me that I got their very first "take-out" meal, when I was home sick from Bowen school. I lift my glass to this institution!
Laura Mullen September 18, 2012 at 04:27 PM
I've been going there since 1957. This was the first restaurant I ever went to without my parents for the luncheon special at age 7 with a couple of neighborhood friends, Lynn Altshuler, and Otto Kielwhite. Had my first drink in a bar from Kenny. Also had my first legal drink in a bar from Kenny. A group of us were regulars through the 60s and 70s; Bob Alfredson, Kevin Quinn, Young Kim, Mike Eustis, Rich Mooney, Bob Fairhurst, Don Walton, Eric Raymond. Just visited Boston a few weeks ago and ate there twice. The shrimp and lobster sauce was still great!
Tim barnstable September 26, 2012 at 08:27 PM
If SP is closed for good, it is worse news than having to listen to Elizabeth Warren spouting her fiction, and watching her head bobbing. I grew up on South Pacific, sitting in the Pagoda room with it's painted panels of a luau. Fried rice like no other on earth, duck sauce to feed your brain with taste sensations that made your tongue know what it is for. Pork strips that would make Julia Child blush with envy. The menu was great,the staff friendly and family. To have to go to the golden temple and ask for pinapple is a sin. Beacon st and charge for valet parking, oh South Pacific, please come back. If it is true Newton now has nothing to offer.
Melanie Graham (Editor) September 26, 2012 at 08:31 PM
UPDATE: Hi Everyone! Thanks for following this story. We're hoping to have more soon, but it is true -- a "for lease" sign went up in the front window of the restaurant recently.
Wendy Schapiro September 26, 2012 at 09:48 PM
I have a lead on someone to talk to (tomorrow when Yom Kippur is officially over), so I will keep you all posted!
Gary A. Barron October 04, 2012 at 09:02 PM
A truely sad day. I, too, have the fondest memories of South Pacific. I spent every birthday at the restaurant from 5 years old to 26. Regardless of where I lived in the US, I always came back to celebrate with family and friends. Memories include waiting for nearly an hour just to get seated in the 1960s. Crowds were formed well into the 70s and 80s and the food was consistently excellent. To me, it was the hallmark of chinese food. I sure will miss my old friend!!
Wendy Schapiro October 07, 2012 at 05:15 PM
Lead went cold, I am sorry to report. If anyone has any info and is willing to talk, please comment here or email Melanie. Thank you!
Eric Benjamin October 08, 2012 at 03:31 PM
I know their service was slow but where are the egg rolls I ordered in 1985?
Charlie Worden October 10, 2012 at 04:36 PM
Only place I know that made Egg Foo Yung with a black sauce. Does anyone know the name of the sauce or its main ingredients? I grew up in NC but still traveled from Providence area to have that style EFY at least once a year. Does anyone know the cook?
Larry Peyser October 27, 2012 at 10:30 PM
I am still saddened, a week after trying the door in vain and only then noticing the "for lease" sign. A truly great and memorable restaurant I've been frequenting since the 60's serving the best shrimp and lobster sauce anywhere. I drove from Canton to enjoy the food and the coziest little bar around. What a loss. Larry P
Sumner Cohen December 20, 2012 at 08:40 PM
I knew the original owner Mansfield Chin. I ate there as a boy. They made the best Chinese food anywhere. I would love to have them re-open and invest in the new Restaurant. scohen62@comcast.net-------Sumner Cohen
bethsabee percevault February 23, 2013 at 06:44 PM
Please, please, does anyone know how to get or make eggrolls like those at south pacific. i live in paris and was looking forward to going back to my hometown and eating those delicious eggrolls...boo hoo!


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