Barbara Lynch, a Leading Boston Restaurateur, Is Accused of Workplace Abuse

Can she recover from this? None of this is particularly new but this kind of national exposure seems like it could be the end of her era in Boston and her restaurants, no?

I’m not defending her but curious. I’ll confess I’ve had many great meals at her establishments over the past two decades - another none of them recently.


Did she go to the Gordon Ramsey school?

Couldn’t get into the NYT article, but here’s another from the Boston Globe published today.


Pretty sure that’s the second time they’ve written about her and this topic in the past few months but the scale of media draw from the Bos Globe to NYT is just different. It’s no longer a local PR nightmare


Here’s a gift link that should work:


The Globe has a link to their 3/30/23 article re: the two former employees suing Lynch for withholding tips during the pandemic, but yeah, this is now national. Just as Mario Batali’s harassment suit went national, just as John Besh’s harassment went national. Hers is a different abuse; however, it IS abuse and toxic in nature, as was the men’s actions.

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And Boston Eater has noted that both (separately written) articles dropped within hours of each other.

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I’ve heard from multiple people that Gordon Ramsey’s abusive public persona doesn’t reflect his true personality.

I’ve been told that in real life Ramsey is very nice.

I’ve heard the same regarding Gordon Ramsey.

You catch flies with sugar, not vinegar. At about 0:45 “I’m going to do it with you, okay?”

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I have no idea about the allegations directed towards Lynch, but I will just say that restaurant kitchens are just generally quite toxic environments.

Are there exceptions? Sure.

But don’t let the wallflowers out there convince you that the exception is the rule. It is most certainly not.


If you watch him on the British TV shows, he has virtually none of the nasty personality he shows on American shows.

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Sad. I hope she can get help with her alcohol problem.


It’s not just an alcohol problem. She experienced personally a lot of abuse herself as a child and in the industry she strived to achieve in, and did for a long time. Just getting rid of alcohol won’t solve her problem; the underlying causes need to be addressed.


certainly, for her personally, they need to be addressed, should she start finding a path to recovery. and indeed, that they are presumably not being addressed would have directly lead to alleged addictive behaviors in the first place.

having lived amongst addicts all my life, i don’t really agree that ‘getting rid of’ the drugs ‘won’t solve her problem’. of course it’s not a black or white – get rid of the substance and voila, everything is miraculously rosy. but, what it would most likely do is improve her behaviors towards others, which is the crux of the complaint. reading the reporting, it just seems she’s been acting as addicts often do, making poor decisions and evading responsibility. this is a hallmark of addiction, and it’s unlikely that, were she to get sober, her choices would not be improved a thousand fold. i’ve seen it too many times in my own experience. i hope she chooses to get help.


I’m especially feeling the feelings for people who work/have worked in her establishments. Very hard to be in the wake of an employer (or anybody, of course) who emits that level of pain.


Totally. Reminded me of my first restaurant job, chef would have a few 'red coffee’s (wine in a coffee cup), make one mistake while expediting that would lead to much greater chaos. I’d be over on pastry trying to stay out of it while the grill cook was getting yelled at. Yikes.

The article was so many examples of her alcohol use impacting her ability to function, I think she needs help more than a scathing take-down. The groping’s not ok, but losing her shit after a staff death seems … human. Alcohol probably made it worse, but I’m not going to shame her for breaking down under extreme stress.

The industry has a problem. Alcohol abuse is rampant and sanctioned - see ‘shift drinks’, see ‘a round of beers’ for the kitchen. Alcohol is part of your compensation package.