There were two Lupo's of note when I was coming of age in the 1970s.

One was Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel on Westminster Street in Providence, Rhode Island and the other was Lupo's Restaurant in downtown New Bedford.

Lupo's in Providence opened in 1975. It was the place to see up-and-coming bands. After 40 years and relocating to the Strand building on Washington Street, Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel became the Strand Ballroom & Theater in 2017. That was the end of Lupo's.

New Bedford's Lupo's – Lupo's Restaurant – opened at 363 Acushnet Avenue at the corner of William Street in 1897, according to Whaling

A 2003 story in the Standard-Times says, "The original Lupo's building was built in 1858, and several additions were built on over the years." 

New Bedford's Lupo's Restaurant Was A Downtown Gem
Barry Richard/Townsquare Media

Lupo's closed in the early 1990s, and after remaining empty for about a decade was torn down in 2003.

Lupo's Restaurant was one of many spots downtown where you could get good food and hear quality entertainment. The Lupo's bar was always elbow-to-elbow with the movers and shakers of the day. There was a function room on the second floor and perhaps an apartment on the third floor.

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According to the Standard-Times, the New Bedford Redevelopment Authority sold the property in 2001 to the Mount Vernon Group. The city had taken the property for non-payment of taxes. There was a plan to develop condos and retail space on the property. No one seems to remember why that didn't occur.

New Bedford's Lupo's Restaurant Was A Downtown Gem
Courtesy Spinner Publications

Bristol Community College currently owns the property, which is nothing more than a vacant lot. 

Mayor Jon Mitchell told me he'd like to see the entire block developed as housing and retail, but he is unsure what BCC's plans are for the property.

BCC's Associate Director of Media Relations Kevin Spirlet said that "Bristol Community College does not have any plans for the property at this time."

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