Submitted by Ray Flynn Former Mayor of Boston and lifelong resident of South Boston
Men and women on their way to work, union members, MBTA employees and politicians always found Mul’s a comfortable spot to meet and have breakfast or lunch. It opens at 5 a.m. and closes just after noon. The food was great and the price was right. Now this working-class restaurant located in the Lower End of South Boston could be next to fall victim to development.
Joe Mulrey, the original owner, built the popular diner and worked hard at it, along with his wife. Everybody liked and trusted both. My family and the Mulrey’s not only grew up in the Lower End of Southie, but we also attended the same schools, St’s. Peter and Paul’s Church. Joe and my father also worked together as union longshoremen for many years. I loved listening to Joe Mul, Bricklayers President Tommy McIntyre, Judge Joe Feeney, Joe McDonough and Jerry Troy talk politics.
Gerry Ridge, a prominent Boston businessman, also a Lower Ender, would tell his colleagues, if you want to read about Boston politics go in town to the Copley Library, but if you want to learn first-hand about Boston’s political history, pull a chair up to Mul’s card playing table at Amrheins or the diner and you’ll get the real inside story.
But the best part about Mul’s wasn’t just the food, or the many characters who frequented there, it was the friendly waitresses who made it special. Mayor Kevin White once told me there, that he frequently eats breakfast at the Ritz for $18 to $20, but pointing to the plate in front of him at Mul’s, “but this great crème brulee French Toast for half the price beats that any day.”
Well, as anticipated, another Southie tradition could soon be closing. A public hearing has been called for May 7 at City Hall — 9:30 a.m., so you don’t miss it — to develop a six-story, trendy building where Mul’s is today.
What I would like to ask is where do we go to meet and talk to people like we met growing up in South Boston? Where are the Mike Panos, Billy Driscolls, Satch Crowes, Juggy Dooleys, Leo Mahoneys?Where is the new Bay View Pub, Sully’s and Heights Tavern and Aces High? Maybe one of those pubs and restaurants will move into the new luxury building on A and West Broadway where so many people loved the food and made lifetime good friends.