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A Lone 68-Foot Cactus Witnesses the End of an Era

Hilltop Steak House is no more.

Hilltop Steak House
Hilltop Steak House
Elizabeth Thomsen/Flickr (Creative Commons)

Saugus' Route 1 is now down one iconic restaurant: Hilltop Steak House, which closed a year and a half ago, was demolished yesterday, WCVB reports, but the iconic cactus remains.

Photographer and Saugus native Brian Cummings photographed the process, as seen in the WCVB story, but first, he got a look inside the already-deteriorating interior. Cummings told Boston.com that he is an "urban explorer," declining to say how he got inside the building to take the photos.

The once-beloved steakhouse was open for more than five decades, and at one point, it reportedly topped the list of highest-grossing restaurants in the country.

"I'll never forget being one of the vast crowds waiting boisterously in its ever-present long lines, the bustle of its enormous dining rooms, and its kitschy Old-West-themed fun, epitomized by its herd of petrified fiberglass cattle out front," wrote local critic MC Slim JB yesterday, waxing nostalgic about the place during its busier past.

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