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Wild Willy's Closes

Needham burger shop shut its doors on Friday, May 25.

As Needham residents prepared for their holiday weekend cookouts last weekend, one local burger shop closed its doors for good—or at least for now.

officially closed on Friday evening, May 25.

The local restaurant celebrated its third anniversary in Needham last July (it opened in July 2008) and is one of six Wild Willy’s locations in New England, each owned by a separate licensee.

An e-mail distributed by the Wild Willy's owners on Saturday morning announced the closure: "We just wanted to let you know that we have closed our doors last night. It has been a GREAT 4 years and we wanted to thank you for all of your support and patronage. We will be in touch when we find our new location."

The message does not detail why the shop is closing or whether its owners might be looking to reopen in Needham or another location.

But in posted in August 2011, franchisee Lesley Seder mentioned that the restaurant's location at 1257 Highland Ave. did present some problems with visibility, as it was set back from the main road.

"Well, we thought the location was really great, but we’re in here, we’re not out on the road," Seder said in the interview. "And so many people who live in Needham that come in new claim, ‘We never knew you were there.’ So our location isn’t the best. All the rest of the restaurants are on a main street. It’s a challenge. But we have many people who come back again and again."

The restaurant appeared to have a solid fan base, though, as it was readers' top pick in several polls conducted on Patch, including a Patch Pick for and and a second-place nod for in our recent Best of Needham - Readers' Choice contest.

What do you think? Will you miss Willy's? Where would you like to see them reopen if the owners choose to do so? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Wendy Schapiro May 30, 2012 at 03:02 PM
This is a huge bummer :(
Doug Fox May 30, 2012 at 04:01 PM
With the closing of Friendly's, Wild Willy's should've cleaned up. And although their location wasn't the best, I always found the service to be lacking. The restaurant was normally pretty empty, and the person at the register always seemed to be inconvenienced by our order. If they move to new location, they should also solve the service issues, or else be faced with a similar problem again.
Jodi Rooney May 31, 2012 at 08:43 PM
I agree with Doug. My kids loved Wild Willys, but as a parent, the lack of friendliness and higher prices made us not want to go as often as we could have. If they do come back to Needham, I hope they train their employees better, smile a little bit, and make us feel welcome.

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