Beloved South End grocer Lionette’s has been sold, reports Dishing. Don Otto and his family will take over the space with Don Otto’s Natural and Organic Market. Locavores can rest easy, since a statement on Don Otto’s website indicates that the Otto family isn’t looking to reinvent the wheel here: “James Lionette was the first person in the city of Boston to offer Grass Fed Beef and other Naturally Raised Meat & Poultry. Don Otto will carry on this legacy, offering only the highest Quality, Local, Clean, & Sustainable Meats and Poultry in New England.” Furthermore, with the exception of James Lionette himself, the Lionette’s staff will remain on board.
The sale is just the latest development in a tumultuous year for Lionette’s. In April, the market was involved in serious talks to open a second branch in the Jamaica Plain Brewery, but those plans fell through in October due to financing. The South End shop will continue to operate as Lionette’s until early February, at which point it will close for a week for renovations and reopen as Don Otto’s.