Faneuil Hall entrance (2009)
|Slogan||• Established before you were born|
• Your Grandfather and perhaps Your Great Grandfather dined with us, too!
|Closed||January 12, 2019|
|Previous owner(s)||• Ark Restaurants (2007–2019)|
• Kelley family (1972–2007)
• James Hallett (1945–1977)
• Chandler family (1840–1945)
• Durgin & Park (1827–c.1870)
|Head chef||Roberto Reyes|
|Food type||Seafood & Roast Prime Rib|
|Street address||340 N Market Street|
|Seating capacity||250 at mostly communal tables|
|Reservations||Suggested for parties of 15 or more that want to sit together|
|Other locations||Logan International Airport (2013–present)|
Durgin-Park was a centuries-old restaurant at 340 Faneuil Hall Marketplace in downtown Boston. The Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau stated that it had been a "landmark since 1827", and it was a popular tourist destination within Quincy Market. The restaurant had entrances on both of its facades (Faneuil Hall and Clinton Street).
On January 3, 2019, the owners announced that their last day of service would be January 12, 2019; the restaurant closed permanently on that date. A satellite location at Boston's Logan International Airport remains open.
The first restaurant at this former warehouse was opened in 1742 and was purchased in 1827 by John Durgin and Eldridge Park, becoming a Boston landmark. By 1840, Durgin & Park took on John G. Chandler as a third partner. It was this trio that established the concepts of food and service that have remained essentially unchanged. During the Reconstruction era—after the deaths of Durgin and Park—Chandler continued to run the operation and his family owned it until 1945, when it was sold to James Hallett, who ran the operation until 1977, enhancing the restaurant's national reputation.
The restaurant was purchased by the Kelley family in 1972, and sold by them to Ark Restaurants in January 2007, although Seana Kelley remained the general manager until 2012. The general manager later became Patricia Reyes, who had worked for Ark Restaurants since 1999.
For a time, Durgin-Park had an additional location at Copley Place in Boston. The original Durgin-Park, as well as the one in Copley Place, was included in an "old Boston" dining review by Alexander Theroux of The New York Times in 1985.
In the late summer of 2010, Durgin-Park opened a beer garden in their basement bar, called "The Hideout". In late 2016, the basement bar began hosting a weekly stand-up comedy showcase under the name Hideout Comedy. Shows ran Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays featuring local and nationally touring comedians.
Durgin Park had only one female chef in its long history, Melicia Phillips, who worked there in 2012 and 2013.
In early January 2019, the CEO of Ark Restaurants announced that Durgin-Park would close on January 12, due to the restaurant not being profitable. The restaurant did permanently close on that date. In February 2019, an internet auction was initiated to sell over 200 items from the restaurant.
Logan Airport location
In January 2013, it was announced that Ark Restaurants had licensed a sub-location at Logan International Airport at which Durgin-Park would be offering soups and sandwiches; located in Terminal E, it opened in March 2013. With the closure of the Faneuil Hall location in January 2019, the future of the sub-location at Logan Airport is unclear. As of February 2019, it remains open and is listed on the Massport website.
In keeping with its long history, the concept of Durgin-Park maintained the tradition of communal seating at long tables. The menu was designed to offer traditional New England-style fare with a concentration on seafoods, chowders, broiled meats and boiled dinners. The service was also a partial hold-over from the time of its founding, as the waitstaff were encouraged to adopt a "surly" attitude and "backtalk" the clientele. Another sign of its heritage was that it only changed head chefs a handful of times in its history.
Honors and awards
- "Durgin Park Restaurant". Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau. Archived from the original on August 30, 2006.
- Choe, Jonathan (January 3, 2019). "Historic Boston Restaurant to Serve Last Customer". NECN. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
- Leonardi, Julie (January 12, 2019). "Iconic Boston restaurant Durgin-Park closes doors in Faneuil Hall". WFXT. Retrieved February 15, 2019.
- @OnlyInBOS (February 21, 2019). "Durgin-Park is still open...at Logan Aiport" (Tweet). Retrieved March 3, 2019 – via Twitter.
- "James Hallett, 86; restaurateur made Durgin-Park local landmark". The Boston Globe. August 3, 1993. Archived from the original on October 25, 2012.
- Kousoulas, Claudia. "Indian Pudding". Washington Woman.[permanent dead link]
- Theroux, Alexander (December 8, 1985). "Dining Out in Old Boston". The New York Times.
- Hammel, Lisa (February 5, 1984). "Fare of the Country; In Search of Real Boston Baked Beans". The New York Times.
- Luongo, C. Paul (June 10, 2008). "America's Oldest Restaurant". From C. Paul Luongo, the Mayor of Copley Square.
- Yahoo! Finance (May 13, 2008). "Quarterly Report". Form 10-Q for Ark Restaurants Corp.
- Motta, Elizabeth (August 21, 2017). "It's About Time Man V. Food Picked A Fight With The Durgin Cut". WGBH-TV. Retrieved January 4, 2019.
- O'Brien, Megan (January 3, 2018). "Faneuil Hall's oldest restaurant to close its doors for good". Boston.com. Retrieved January 4, 2018.
- Kuschner, Erin (February 12, 2019). "Still mourning the loss of Durgin-Park? Here's how you can own part of its history". Boston.com. Retrieved February 15, 2019.
- Kagan, Aaron (March 21, 2013). "One of Boston's Oldest Restaurants Now at The Airport". Retrieved January 4, 2019.
- "Restaurants". Massport. Retrieved February 15, 2019.
- "Durgin-Park Menu". Durgin-Park.com. 2008.
- "Durgin-Park ★★★: Frommer's Review". Frommer's. 2000–2009.
- Harris, Patricia; Lyon, David (March 4, 2012). "Why classics count in New England". The Boston Globe.
- "Our History". durginparkrestaurant.com. Retrieved January 4, 2019.
- Kuschner, Erin (January 4, 2019). "'We have an old restaurant that has a menu geared to people who want to reminisce about the old days'". Boston.com. Retrieved January 4, 2019.
- Tremaine, Julie (January 11, 2019). "Love, loss, and prime rib: Durgin-Park, and the end of a family tradition". Boston.com. Retrieved January 11, 2019.
- Durgin-Park - Boston, MA at Roadfood.com