Durgin-Park to Close!

If you’re from outside the Boston area you may never have heard of it, but the Durgin-Park restaurant, located in the Quincy Marketplace by Faneuil Hall just announced that it will be closing on January 12, in just over a week. It’s been open since 1827, and this seems kind of, well, abrupt.

We’d discussed it on this Board not too long ago. The restaurant was famed not only fior its stability, but its surly waitresses. Everybody ate there. Local legend is that when FDR (as a student) came to eat, the staff, remembering what his presidential cousin Theodore had eaten as a Harvard student, and brought him the same thing before he had a chance to order.
I’ve eaten there several times. It’s good Yankee food, and the beef joints look as if they’re bringing you a quarter of a steer.With butter on top, no less. I’ve never enciountered surliness among the waitstaff, but they;'ve probably toned it down.

The consortium that owns it says that business has been declining over the past five years. They’re losing business to newer, trendier restaurants. (Well, just about everthing around is newer, except perhaps for the Union Oyster House and the possible Bell in Hand Tavern). Perhaps it’s better to go out clean, rather than trying to jazz it up with new décor and Unhappy Meals for the kids. But I’ll miss it. And with such a short span left, it’ll probably be impossible to get in, the same way you couldn’t get in for a last meal at the Hilltop Steak House.

II probably will be able to get in for a last meal at another local restaurant that’s closing. Santoro’s SuVilla may not be as old – only some 60 plus years – but it’s become an institution in Saugus, north of Boston. The owners are retiring, and not passing the restaurant down. If another place opens here, it won;'t be a Santoro’s.

I remember a couple dopefests there, Cal; in fact, that may have been where you and I met. One of the retro TV channeld ran episodes of Banacek recently, and in the opening credits are shots of George Peppard at various Boston landmarks, including escorting a date into Durgin Park. It was a Boston institution.

I’m glad I got to go there, but it wasn’t a place I felt I had to go back to very often.

I only recall the one DopeFest there, although we had at least one more at a Quincy Marketplace restaurant. Maybe that’s the reason it’s closing – we didn’t go there enough!

I ate there a couple of months ago, and it wasn’t terribly busy. But I was there at an off-hour time.

the owners say that they’re still looking for a possible buyer, but with only a week to go, they’re not giving it much time. Heck, Santoro’s SubVilla gave more warning of its coming shutdown.

I think that was the only Dopefest I went to. I remember going to Durgin Park just after we moved to Boston, probably in 1970. This takes away a bit of my childhood, and adulthood. sigh

I’ve eaten there a few times, it was really special.

My Dad was friends with the Head Butcher there a while back, and we got a few special cuts now and then.

Loved the Baked Beans there.
Very sad to see it is closing.

That’s a shame. My sister took my family to eat there once. I’d heard about the supposedly grumpy servers, but everyone was polite the day we were there.

I was there before it was subsumed by Quincy Market. Don’t remember surly waitresses, but I remember being seated on long benches, with strangers next to you. Also, the vegetables were served family style for everyone with in reach.

I tried going back again, but it had turned into an overcrowded tourist trap.

In the long list of institutions that have gone under since I moved to Boston in 1969, this one comes in about last.