The front of Back Bay Grill in Portland on Portland Street on Thursday, hours after the fine dining restaurant's owner announced they would be closing permanently after more than three decades in business. Credit: David Marino Jr. / BDN

A fine dining restaurant in downtown Portland is closing after 35 years in business, its owner said in a Facebook post Thursday.

Back Bay Grill owner Larry Matthews Jr. did not cite a specific reason for closing, simply saying that he had “come to the conclusion” that it was time to shut the restaurant’s doors. He thanked the restaurant’s customers and staff for their decades of support.

“This was not easy,” Matthews said. “But, it is time for me to step out of the kitchen and move on.”

Back Bay Grill, which is located off of Forest Avenue, had previously served a number of fine dining dishes, including seared foie gras, beef tartare, grilled filet mignon, roasted duck breast and North Atlantic salmon.

The post quickly amassed an outpouring of comments from patrons. Many cited special occasions spent at the restaurant, including holidays, birthdays and anniversaries.

The restaurant had announced in August it was rebranding as a kitchen incubator and would be changing its name to Six Degrees at Back Bay Grill. The change brought on a new leadership team and the departure of longtime general manager Adrian Stratton. However it’s not clear what happened with that venture.

Food incubators often involve renting space to one or more food producers, providing chefs or teams without a restaurant of their own to cook commercially.

Matthews said he would be emptying Back Bay out over the next few weeks and selling equipment.

No one at the restaurant responded to a phone call Thursday afternoon.