When Kevin Curley and Michael Sanchez opened Dough East Boston 13 years ago, they were aiming to do something different. With a focus on gourmet pizzas like the Layla (pesto with artichoke hearts, goat cheese, red peppers and olives) or the R2 (ranch dressing, grilled chicken, bacon and spinach) Dough quickly became known for its sandwiches.
However, last week fans of Dough, known as ‘Dough Nation,’ were shocked by a post on the restaurant’s Facebook page.
“Dough Nation we have some bittersweet news to announce,” wrote Curley. “Mike and I have decided to close Dough East Boston. In the past 13 years we have had a lot fun, made very good friends and served a lot of good food. Mike and I both lived in Eastie for a few years and toiled for over a decade, so we feel like we have a piece of Eastie in our hearts. We would like to thank you, the customers for coming in excited everyday to try our food. That energy has driven us for 13 years. We truly appreciate the love that you’ve given us throughout the years, which makes this decision so tough.”
Curley announced Dough will serve up its last sandwiches this Friday before closing for good.
Curley went on to thank all of Dough’s hardworking employees, both past and present.
“I would like to thank my employees,” he wrote. “We have had a few pass through and go, but for the most part they have been with us for years, which again, makes this decision so tough, as it feels like leaving family. We love you guys.”
In the post, Curley said he and Sanchez have always put family first and was part of the reason for deciding to close up shop.
In a neighborhood where a chicken cutlet parm or a Italian sub is a dime a dozen (there are constant arguments in Eastie about who makes the best Italian-style subs), Dough, on the corner of Maverick and Border streets, branched out and offered menu items not found elsewhere.
“The sandwiches definitely took off,” said Curley.
And in a few short months, everyone who heard of Dough was coming in for the signature sandwich.
“Yeah, I’d have to say it’s the Vermonter,” said Sanchez.
The creation the boys from Dough came up with after opening is a pile of roasted turkey, bacon, apple slices, gouda, and red onion topped with sundried tomato mayo on multigrain that is then backed so the entire beast turns into an oozing feast.
Then there were others like the Montana, sliced grilled roast beef, with cheddar, pepperoncinis, and mayo on a braided roll that’s then pressed to melt the cheese, or the cajun chicken cheese steak, a twist on the regular steak and cheese that includes shaved cajun spiced chicken, two types of cheese and peppers.
“When we started we wanted to serve stuff we’d love to eat and not have to compete with well-established sub shops that already carved out a fan base,” said Sanchez.
The plan worked and for over decade Dough is going strong and became a mainstay for hungry East Bostonians with new menu items, daily specials and a resurgence of the restaurant’s solid pizza business.“ We are taking the opportunity to explore new and exciting opportunities and to spend more time with our families, which is our highest priority,” he said. “I would like to take this time to invite Dough Nation to come on down and celebrate a good run. Come by say hello and bid farewell. So from the bottom our hearts we thank you for all your love and support throughout the years.”
Over the years Curley and Sanchez took pride in making everything fresh, something that customers noticed and appreciated.
“For 10 years everything’s made to order and we never pre cook our food,” said Sanchez. “We are running to Restaurant Depot everyday because we never had a huge walk in fridge so all our customers know everything is coming out fresh to order. It may take an extra few minutes, from the burgers to the cutlets, and it’s tough to regulate sometimes when we are busy, but the final product is worth it.”
Three years ago Sanchez and Curley were awarded the Boston Main Streets Award for Best Business in Eastie.
Beyond their food, Curley and Sanchez were always giving back to the community since they opened by supporting Main Streets events, Zumix programs, NOAH, the Atlantic Works Artist Gallery.
Both Curley and Sanchez opened Dough because they said they saw great potential in Eastie. “It’s one of the greatest neighborhoods in Boston and for a small neighborhood we have such great food places that have become nationally known. It’s awesome that this little community is getting all this recognition,” said Sanchez. “But it’s really a community here, from our staff who help us do this everyday to our loyal customers in Dough Nation.”