Cameron's Restaurant, a staple of Gloucester's downtown for decades, abruptly closed its doors Thursday, and reopened only as a bar on Friday.
And the odd hours and closed kitchen have residents speculating about the Main Street eatery's future.
Owner Steve Curcuru said Friday that the kitchen was "closed for renovations," but was vague when asked when it would re-open.
"We'll see how it goes without the food," Curcuru said Friday from behind the bar. He added the restaurant will likely begin to sell sandwiches and other lunch fare as part of its bar offerings.
Friday, a sandwich board adorned with balloons and placed on the sidewalk in front of the restaurant read: "Bar open today." A hand-written sign on the front door also said "bar open, kitchen closed."
However, the kitchen's closing comes amid persistent rumors that the restaurant is teetering on closing outright.
And at least one other downtown restaurant is already publicly courting Cameron's customers. An advertisement for Espresso that ran in Friday's Times stated — "Welcome Cameron's customers."
A Main Street fixture since 1936, Cameron's has been known as the placed "where the natives dine."
The restaurant is owned by Steve and Lesley Curcuru, and has been listed with the state's Corporation Division as Harbor Cove, Inc. since August 2001.
When asked to address the rumors, Curcuru shook his head, shrugged, and reiterated that Cameron's is open as a bar.
While customers looking for a meal at Cameron's had to find another restaurant Friday, so, too, did murder-mystery dinner writer and director, John Payette.
Cameron's had served as the setting for Payette's "Murder on the Dance Floor" theme dinners for the last three months until the kitchen abruptly closed with no warning, he said.