Anthony's Pier 4 will end its 50-year run next month, the Globe reports. Last October, it looked like the waterfront restaurant might survive "several years" until developers broke ground on the impending Pier 4 living and retail complex, but time's almost up for the restaurant that has fed politicians, celebrities, tourists, and locals for decades.
Opened by Albanian immigrant Anthony Athanas in 1963, Anthony's Pier 4 occupied the Seaport District long before it bore that name (not to mention that supposedly swankier "Innovation District" name). He always knew the area would be developed, his sons tell the Globe. In the 1980s, Anthony's was considered one of the most successful restaurants in the entire country, serving about 700,000 meals and bringing in around $12 million each year.
The menu reads like a snapshot of classic New England cuisine: baked stuffed filet of sole, broiled scrod, lobster Newberg, clam chowder. There's prime rib and grilled veal chops for those who don't want seafood, a pair of souffles for dessert, and a wine program that has been winning awards for years. And of course, there's the warm popovers that start every meal.
Athanas died in 2005, and his four sons own the restaurant now, along with Hawthorne by the Sea Tavern in Swampscott and Anthony's Cummaquid Inn in Yarmouth. Anthony's Pier 4 might return as a smaller version of itself in the new development being built, the Athanas sons say. Its current location will become the least imposing part of the new complex, a one-acre park.