Big Tree Hospitality founders Andrew Taylor, left, and Mike Wiley inside Hugo’s in 2015. Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

Portland restaurant Hugo’s, which has been closed since the start of the pandemic, won’t reopen for fine dining.

The restaurant, a local institution, is owned by Big Tree Hospitality, the Biddeford-based group that also owns adjacent Middle Street restaurants Eventide Oyster Co. and Honey Paw, among other businesses.

The permanent closure was announced in an Instagram post Wednesday that also outlined the restaurant’s history, from opening in 1988 as a bistro and piano lounge named for proprietor Johnny Robinson’s son to its ownership under Nancy Pugh and chef Rob Evans, when Evans won the James Beard Award for Best Chef Northeast.


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Big Tree founders Andrew Taylor, Arlin Smith and Mike Wiley (who has since left the group) worked at Hugo’s for four years before purchasing the restaurant in 2012 from Pugh and Evans, who also own Duckfat.

The Instagram post said the owners “can’t say for sure what this space will become next,” but it will host private parties and events in the meantime.

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