By Ginger DeShaney

Rain couldn’t keep people from celebrating the national holiday that is Sullivan’s opening day!

By about 3:30 p.m. Saturday (Feb. 27), the Southie landmark had served more than 1,200 customers, said Kizito Paganini, director of operations at Sully’s.

“It’s always sunny at Sullivan’s,” said Kizito, “but it’s not always sunny at the Island.”

The lines weren’t long but there was steady business all day.

Joe Gateley of Southie looks forward to this day every year. “It’s an institution,” he said, noting he’s been coming to Sully’s for about 40 years.

He was thankful that Sully’s stayed open through December 2020 and is happy to celebrate this “holiday.” Joe will be bringing a bit of Sullivan’s to his son and his family in Florida by way of Sully’s masks.

Mike O’Toole made the trek from Framingham with his dog, Bentley, who was a little impatient while waiting for his hot dog. Mike’s mom grew up in Dorchester so they visited Sully’s often.

Mike likes the new setup that was put in place because of COVID-19: “It’s so much easier than everyone hanging out in the corner.”

Customers line up outside, place their orders, and then go outside to stand on dots and wait for Sully’s staff members to bring out the food.

Anastasia Budinskaya and Michael Brienza of Woburn were first-timers to Sullivan’s. They Googled things to do in Boston and Sully’s opening day showed up. “Honestly, I’m grateful it’s raining so it was less crowded,” Anastasia said.

Southie girls Claire Farma and Jacqueline Beggan always come to opening day “because it’s just tradition,” Claire said. “We miss it when it’s closed in the winter and we celebrate the reopening.”

Added Jacqueline, “I just love Sully’s.”

Joe Gateley of Southie celebrates the Sully’s “holiday.”


Kizito Paganini, director of operations at Sully’s, said the day went great.


Mike O’Toole’s dog Bentley gets his hot dog from the Sully’s food runner.


Michael Brienza and Anastasia Budinskaya visited Sully’s for the first time.


Claire Farma, left, and Jacqueline Beggan never miss an opening day.





Waiting patiently for their food.