We got a call this morning on Michael and Maddie from a concerned New Bedford resident and Top Shelf Bar and Grill fan that the popular restaurant had possibly closed permanently.

"Why would you think that?" I asked the caller. I tried to think back to the last time I had eaten at Top Shelf. It was just before the holiday and the restaurant was packed to the gills due to an employee Christmas party for the crew at Vaz Construction. The contracting company had at least 50 people in the house. Pair that with the normal traffic that Top Shelf attracts, and they were busting at the seams.

The caller told me that the last time he drove by the Acushnet Avenue location, the restaurant seemed to be in darkness and, more importantly, the Top Shelf Bar and Grill sign had been taken down.

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I wasn't too concerned about the description of the darkness. I've often wondered if the restaurant was closed when I pulled up only to find it alive inside. The tinted windows on the front doors can definitely make it look closed.

However, hearing the caller tell us that the Top Shelf sign was no longer on the building? That made me wonder.

I immediately called Sandy Arribada, one of the managers at Top Shelf, and she put me at ease.

"Our sign blew off during that crazy windstorm the weekend before Christmas," she said. "We're in the process of getting a new sign, so we just left it off."

The year 2022 was unkind to too many local restaurants. Losing Top Shelf just days into 2023 would have been devastating, but thankfully that was not the case.

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