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The Little Dive with a Long History

Brinks robber hangout, BoSox refuge, blizzard shelter: the Dugout at 80


What is it about the descent of a few steps that makes a bar seem special? Cheers, the old Rathskeller, the BU Pub—all in basements. Perhaps such a place feels like home, its cozy dimensions tugging at our cave-dweller roots. Beneath street level, out of sight, and away from the bustle of work, patrons feel free to loosen their neckties, share their off-the-cuff opinions, and tell off-color stories.

Or is it the thrill of the illicit? Fugitives from the law go underground, and the original dive bars were in cellars—literally underground. In a nation that once outlawed alcohol, maybe imbibers are seeking a speakeasy vibe: walking down those stairs and into a dimly lit barroom feels like an act of rebellion against an imposed morality.

Or perhaps, in the case of the Dugout Cafe, it’s a bit of both.

Some say the Dugout was a speakeasy during Prohibition. According to Boston’s Licensing Board, the Dugout’s was one of the first liquor licenses issued after the December 1933 repeal of the Volstead Act, which had established Prohibition in the United States in 1919. In the eight decades since it officially opened in 1934, the modest watering hole below 722 Commonwealth Avenue has been a haven for pro boxers, big-league ballplayers, and career criminals, as well as BU students, staffers, and professors. And the joint looks its age—the way regulars like it. Wood paneling, wobbly stools. Bud and Sam on tap. Free popcorn. Even with a few patches and updates, the Dugout has kept a timeless and comfortable quality, like a favorite old pair of jeans.

“It’s a no-baloney kind of bar,” says bartender Bob Lupo (although he doesn’t use the word “baloney”). “We don’t take credit cards, there’s no air-conditioning, if you ask for a Piña colada, I’ll probably tell you to buzz off. But it’s a relaxed sort of place. We expect you to treat it like your home—don’t leave a mess, but it’s a good place to just hang out and shoot the breeze.” (Lupo doesn’t use the words “buzz” or “breeze” either.)

Dugout Cafe, Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, 80th anniversary, cenosillicaphobia

As anyone with a college education knows, cenosillicaphobia is the fear of an empty glass. Photo by Cydney Scott

For decades, the Dugout belonged to a former bootlegger who owned racehorses and managed prizefighters—a local celeb once more recognizable than Ted Williams. A man so well connected, he’s said to have swayed elections and even punched out a governor. A proprietor who, like Deadwood’s Al Swearingen, lived upstairs from his establishment, and who probably would have agreed with Swearingen that “as a base of operations, you cannot beat a farthing saloon.”

(Swearingen did not use the word “farthing.”)

Heavy hitters

Jimmy O’Keefe was born in 1904 near Kenmore Square. As a child, he played in an open field soon to be Fenway Park. In his teens, he delivered groceries from a horse-drawn wagon. Then as a young man, he opened a pharmacy that did a brisk trade in “medicinal” liquor, one of Prohibition’s many loopholes. O’Keefe parlayed that success into a small business empire, encompassing nightclubs in Boston and on Cape Cod. He hired a future math teacher, George Daly (SED’25), to keep the books for his various income streams. (Daly, who happens to have been my grandmother’s uncle, was by no means the last BU student or graduate O’Keefe would employ.)

Situated roughly halfway between Fenway Park and Braves Field (now Nickerson Field), the Dugout was especially popular with baseball fans, sportswriters, and gamblers, as well as many of the Red Sox and Braves players. Sox manager Pinky Higgins (1956–1965) reportedly fell off his stool there at least once. In his first year in Boston, Ted Williams—a rookie, sure, but a much-hyped rookie on pace to hit .327 with 31 home runs and 145 RBIs—borrowed O’Keefe’s car. A police cruiser soon pulled him over. The patrolman didn’t recognize the young driver, but demanded, “What are you doing driving Jimmy O’Keefe’s car?”

Two years after opening the Dugout, O’Keefe forayed into politics. He was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1936. The following year, he worked behind the scenes to get Maurice Tobin elected mayor of Boston; Tobin scored an upset win over the legendary James Michael Curley. By 1945, Tobin was governor of the Bay State, but when he refused to find a job for an O’Keefe friend, the disagreement devolved into fisticuffs. O’Keefe won.

Jimmy O'Keefe, James Jackson O'Keefe, Dugout Cafe, Commonwealth Avenue, Boston

Former bootlegger Jimmy O’Keefe owned the Dugout from 1934 until his death in 1987. Photo by Cydney Scott

Those years were stormy in general for O’Keefe. His Nantasket nightclub was firebombed in 1937. His one brief marriage ended in divorce in 1941. Days later, a brawl erupted in the Dugout that resulted in prison terms for two patrons—one a boxer, the other a convicted robber who’d been on probation. And in 1942, the Boston Health Department closed the Dugout for more than a week, part of a citywide crackdown on nightspot code violations following the tragic Cocoanut Grove fire that claimed the lives of 492 people.

Small wonder that a Boston University dean called for the Dugout’s permanent closure. William Sutcliffe was dean of the College of Business Administration (precursor to the School of Management), one of the first BU schools to move from Copley Square to what is now the Charles River Campus. In 1946, he filed a request that the city’s Licensing Board revoke the taproom’s permit “on the grounds that the place is not conducive to academic work,” the Boston Globe reported. The board held a hearing.

The Dugout’s license was renewed.

Crime of the century

Four years later, the two most notorious Dugout customers would attain that notoriety when they took part in what was then the biggest heist in American history. On January 17, 1950, Adolph “Jazz” Maffie, Joseph “Specs” O’Keefe (no relation to Jimmy), and nine other men robbed the Brink’s, Inc., armored car depot in Boston’s North End, getting away with more than $2.7 million. The meticulously planned robbery took the FBI almost seven years to solve, and it was dramatized in the 1978 film The Brink’s Job, starring Peter Falk and Peter Boyle. The stolen money has yet to be recovered.

And the crooks dreamed it up at the Dugout.

At least, that’s the story. The late Frank Kennedy, a Dugout bartender for decades, used to point to the corner booth “where the Brinks guys planned it,” says broadcaster and author Bernie Corbett (CAS’83), who also tended bar there part-time for years. And that wasn’t just Kennedy’s recollection. It is documented that Maffie and Specs O’Keefe knew Jimmy O’Keefe. Maffie even used Jimmy O’Keefe’s Restaurant, at Boylston Street and Massachusetts Avenue, as his alibi: Maffie’s wife testified that she was having dinner with him there when the robbery took place. (The jury didn’t believe her.) And a postal worker later told the Globe he remembered often seeing Maffie and his bodyguards at the Dugout.

A photo of Frank Kennedy and Jimmy O’Keefe hangs on the wall behind the Dugout Cafe bar. A bartender at the Dugout for decades, Kennedy could point out where the Brinks robbers sat in the bar to plan their heist. Photo by Cydney Scott

A photo of Frank Kennedy and Jimmy O’Keefe hangs on the wall behind the Dugout Cafe bar. A bartender at the Dugout for decades, Kennedy could point out where the Brinks robbers sat in the bar to plan their heist. Photo by Cydney Scott

Still, is it likely that the gang of robbers, all 11 of them, planned the complicated heist, in its entirety, in such a public place? That seems a stretch. Even if it were just Maffie and Specs who spent time at the Dugout, they surely wouldn’t want to be overheard talking shop. But Lupo points to the back room. That’s where he always heard the crooks had congregated. It would certainly be more private. Furthermore, these men spent 18 months planning the caper, the biggest of their criminal careers. It likely dominated their waking thoughts for that time. So did they discuss the job while hoisting a few at the Dugout? It’s hard to believe they didn’t.

A sportsman and a gentleman

In 1961, O’Keefe himself was arrested, at the Dugout. An undercover vice detective overheard him placing bets over the phone. O’Keefe’s friends, who were legion, clogged the BPD switchboard with calls, demanding to know how the police could do such a thing. “It was like arresting Santa Claus,” the Boston Record-American noted. Within a month, the beloved tavern owner was found not guilty.

Santa Claus? The governor-puncher? Yes, for all O’Keefe’s ability to handle himself in the rough world he lived in, it’s his generosity that is best remembered today.

“He had a heart of gold,” says Corbett. “In times of trouble, he’d give you 10 or 20 bucks or whatever you needed, no questions asked.” The old man never turned down a panhandler or other unfortunate who wandered in looking for meal money or even a free drink. “Poor bastards,” O’Keefe told one reporter. “They could be any one of us.” He also helped out BU’s Buildings & Grounds workers when they went on strike in 1978.

And he was a father figure to thousands of BU students. (Remember, the legal drinking age was 18 in Massachusetts for most of the 1970s.) When O’Keefe died in 1987, Senator John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) marked the occasion during official proceedings of the US Senate, telling his colleagues, “The Dugout Cafe served as…a counseling center for students from Boston University.” Kerry (Hon.’05) (today the US Secretary of State) added that O’Keefe was the “definition of compassion.”

Dugout Cafe, Boston University ice hockey, BU Terriers ice hockey, sports memorabilia

Terriers of hockey seasons past appear on placemats framed and hung on the Dugout’s walls. Produced for the team’s annual season-ending banquet, the placemats were drawn by cartoonist Phil Bissell, creator of the New England Patriots’ original “Pat Patriot” logo. Photo by Cydney Scott

Crossroads of Terrier Nation

The Dugout remained popular with sporting old-timers—former middleweight world champion Johnny Wilson played cards there every night until closing time; Ted Williams stopped by to reminisce in 1981—but by the 1970s, the bar was most strongly associated with a college sport: BU hockey. The Terriers electrified the city that decade, winning three national championships and five conference titles. They earned seven Beanpot trophies and went to the Frozen Four almost every year.

“Believe it or not, these were the prescholarship days,” says Brian Durocher (SED’78), and players needed part-time jobs to get by. “It was a hockey tradition that your junior or senior year, you’d get hired at the Dugout,” whether as bartender, bar-back, or bouncer. (Durocher, who is now head coach of the BU women’s hockey team, was goalie and cocaptain of the national champion 1978 squad.) The whole team gathered in the old alehouse after games, along with the usual mix of fans, sportswriters, and assorted hangers-on. The jukebox featured “O Canada” for those players who hailed from north of the border.

Famously, the Dugout was open during the Blizzard of ’78, when at least two and a half feet of snow fell across New England. Hundreds of fans spent the night in the Boston Garden after watching BU beat BC in the first round of the Beanpot. Governor Michael Dukakis declared a state of emergency as snowdrifts covered entire cars and roads were impassable.

Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, Blizzard of 1978

Click to enlarge. Comm Ave buried by the Blizzard of 1978. The Dugout’s sign is dimly visible, directly across from Marsh Chapel. Photo by BU Photography

“Somehow,” defenseman Jack O’Callahan (CAS’79), a member of the 1980 “Miracle on Ice” US Olympic team that took gold, later told the Globe, “our team bus got back up Commonwealth Ave. to the campus. Suddenly, Coach Jack Parker [SMG’68, Hon.’97] halted the bus and said, ‘Gang, we’ve stopped here beside Marsh Chapel so we can offer a prayer of thanks.’ We all jumped out and went to Jimmy O’Keefe’s house of worship across the street—the Dugout Cafe.”

The next day, police enforced a ban on all but essential vehicles. O’Keefe reportedly got around this by having his beer delivered via a Boston Edison utility truck. The power was still out that night, and Durocher was serving beers by candlelight. Globe reporter Joe Concannon joked, “Can’t you do something about this?” Durocher just shrugged. At that, Concannon would write in the paper, “The lights and the jukebox went on. When your team is 20-0, you have it all under control.”

Durocher channeling the Fonz. A tongue-in-cheek tale told to illustrate a point?

“No, that was a real-deal, 100-percent true story,” says Durocher now. “It was the weirdest thing.” He shrugs and raises his palms in the air. “I just went like this, and the lights went on.”

Players still gather at the Dugout after the Beanpot. While literal candles are no longer needed, Corbett says the bar’s present owner “has done a terrific job as the keeper of the flame.” (Bill Crowley, Jr., inherited the place from his father, who inherited it from his longtime boss O’Keefe.) “It’s part of the fabric of the BU hockey family,” says Corbett. “The Dugout is the crossroads of Terrier Nation, and long may it run.”

Summing up the appeal of the little bar in a burrow, Corbett laughs while paraphrasing Ernest Hemingway: “All you need is a clean, well-lighted place.”

Patrick L. Kennedy (COM’04) can be reached at plk@bu.edu.


48 Comments on The Little Dive with a Long History

  • Scott C on 09.30.2014 at 9:02 am

    Great article!!! However, why choose to write on a place as awful as the Dugout? Have you ever been to the Dugout? They bartenders and staff at Dugout are rude, incorrigible people. I went there once with a friend for a drink and will never return! Plus, they don’t accept credit cards…who goes out drinking and wants to pay with cash?!

    • Ari Gold on 09.30.2014 at 11:00 pm

      We all have different definitions of rude. Clearly yours is very thin.

    • Ankit on 10.01.2014 at 4:03 am

      You are absolutely right. i agree with you

    • Paul on 10.01.2014 at 5:20 pm

      Good, stay out. How’s that? Friendly enough?

    • Larry Davenport on 09.01.2017 at 7:57 am

      Great article !!. Brings back great memories from my BU days. Jimmy and Kate, but my favorite character was a BU maintenance guy we called Freddie Leggs . We would feed the juke box and he would sing I left my heart in San Francisco. I know a small piece of mine is still there,50 years latter.

  • Mike on 09.30.2014 at 9:51 am

    BTW…The dog (German Shepard) in the picture was named Heineken. He belonged to Frank Kennedy, long-time bartender and close friend of Jimmy O’Keefe. Heineken never saw a leash and often roamed around campus and beyond as free as a bird.

  • fbk on 09.30.2014 at 9:55 am

    So Pat, you related to Frank Kennedy too? This was a great story, a neat bit of history, and now I’ll look twice when I pass the joint!

    • Kim on 09.30.2014 at 2:12 pm

      Doesn’t need to be FBK, back in the day everybody knew Heineken. Awesome dog!

  • Jessica on 09.30.2014 at 11:16 am

    I had no idea my favorite dive had such a colorful history! Thanks, Pat.

  • Robert Hill on 09.30.2014 at 11:50 am

    Great article! I am glad the spirit of prayer is alive on both sides of Commonwealth Avenue!
    Bob Hill (Dean, Marsh Chapel)

  • Mike on 09.30.2014 at 12:22 pm

    I graduated BU CBA in 1965 but, still remember the Dugout like it was yesterday. Didn’t go there often because I didn’t have much money for beverages but, like many others I did place a few bets there. What a great and well written story bringing back wonderful memories. Glad to hear it’s still operating.

  • PK on 09.30.2014 at 2:33 pm

    Thanks, FBK! And no, I am not related to that late Frank Kennedy (I did have another relative with the same name, but he did not tend bar at the Dugout).

    Mike, I’m hearing conflicting things about the dog — could it have been Kay-Kay, who belonged to longtime Dugout waitress Kay?

    Scott C, glad you liked the article. As for going out drinking with a finite amount of cash vs. a credit card, you often end up with fewer regrets in the former scenario…

    Alumni, feel free to post your Dugout stories here!

  • Jade Brown on 09.30.2014 at 2:49 pm

    Great article! Who knew the Dugout had such a rich history!

  • ralph briggs on 09.30.2014 at 3:07 pm

    Interesting to note the drinking age was 18 during the 70’s I always thought this was true and have had many an argument about this to my friends. One should note that it is not the place to hang out before a hockey game as it once might have been.

    • Steve Cohen on 10.04.2014 at 12:54 pm

      The drinking age was changed to 18 in March 1973, my freshman year at BU. When I lived in Myles Standish Hall during my junior year the student gov’t made sure there was a keg in the Point Room every Friday afternoon. The Dugout was the place to go after a hockey game, the highlights of the evening were the singing of “You’re 16, You’re Beautiful and You’re Mine” by all in attendance and the presentation of the Fugowee Award, given to the player who committed the bonehead move of the night (Like missing an empty net or raising a stick on a missed goal). The legal drinking age was changed to 20 in 1979 and to 21 in 1984.

  • Mike on 09.30.2014 at 3:55 pm

    PK: It’s very possible it could have been Kay-Kay. My apologies if I’m mistaken. I guess it depends on when the picture was taken. I remember Heineken during the 1980’s. He was put to sleep right around around 1990. I helped Frank take him a nearby vet. It was the only time I ever saw a tear in Frank’s eye.

  • CHRIS HENES on 09.30.2014 at 4:17 pm

    When I came to school in 1968 drinking age was 21. Spent lots of time at the DO and worked afternoons waiting on tables. Dog was KK I believe. As manager of the Hockey Team the backroom was a great spot for the fugowee awards.

    Six items (of many) I recall stick out: 1. Jimmy O’Keefe closing the Dugout to all but Hockey Players on the Sunday (day after) our first NCAA Title in Syracuse March 1971. 2. Calling the pay phone at the D.O. while performing Guard Duty at Fort Jackson, SC and talking to a number of the boys (Fortunate not to get caught and court martialed). 3. June 1972 meeting some firemen who responded to a fire set in the mailbox in front of the DO and remarking what an easy call it was. Three days later some of those men were killed in the Hotel Vendome Fire. I worked that night with Eddie filling in for Dave W. who was getting married and remember the sirens being so close. 4. After the team beat Cornell 9-0 in Ithaca Jimmy gave us a couple of cases so the boys would have them at WC upon the return from Cornell. 5. Dick Decloe crying on the steps the night before he returned to Canada after being declared ineligible. 6.Graduation Day skipping Nickerson Field, picking up my diploma at CLA and going to the Dugout where I had my picture taken in Cap and Gown with Jimmy in front of the D.O. sign

  • pam on 09.30.2014 at 8:37 pm

    The drinking age advanced a year at a time, one year ahead of me throughout my BU years. Finally in the Fall of 1985 I was a senior and legal. Where’d we go? The Dugout! Heard the dirtiest joke of my life that night and have never forgotten it. WIll never forget the Dugout either. Love it!

    • Michelle on 10.03.2014 at 8:11 am

      Had no idea of the colorful history!!
      Was there cause friends I worked with at Copperfields worked there, and it actually was nicer inside than the other college bar I also waitressed at, The Pub at NortheasternU….. We weren’t looking for glamour! And who would think of using a credit card, seriously?
      Loved the three places I called “home”!

      • John Sloan on 10.07.2014 at 11:58 pm

        Copperfields, Down Under, Punter’s Pub, and Captain Kidd in Woods Hole were all Bill Crowley ventures and linked to the D.O. in that way. Bill was a great guy who was a Harvard guy who worked for Jimmy as I remember it and they had a business relationship.

  • john on 09.30.2014 at 10:13 pm

    It wasn’t just the hockey team that made it to the DO after the Blizzard of 78 Beanpot. The pep band bus also got us back to campus and several of us hopped out at Marsh Plaza to head over for a few beers with the team to celebrate the game and the closing of school.

  • James Iffland on 09.30.2014 at 11:52 pm

    As a faculty member of the Department of Romance Studies (formerly the Department of Modern Foreign Languages and Literatures) I have had the privilege of occupying an office a few floors up from the Dugout for the last 40 years. (The Department is located at 718 Comm. Ave.) I have often bragged to my colleagues around the country that my department is one of the few in the country (perhaps the world?) that shares a building with an authentic dive. Thanks to this great article, I now know how much more about the wonderful karma that suffuses the place. No wonder that having a beer there is such a fulfilling experience! A notable advantage of the Dugout, by the way, is that many BU faculty have never deigned to step into the joint (“It looks a bit sordid!”), thereby guaranteeing a modicum of privacy if you seek solace there. (Going to the pub over in the Castle can feel like attending a general faculty meeting…) Other historical footnotes: Dylan Thomas is rumored to have lifted a few at the Dugout during one of his American tours. More importantly, I have also been told that Dr. Martin Luther King was a regular during his years at BU, and even had a favorite stool where he always sat at the bar (on the side near the entrance). With so much upscale phoniness nowadays in local drinking establishments, it’s reassuring to know that a place like the Dugout is still alive and well.

    • John Sloan on 10.07.2014 at 11:53 pm

      Agreed :)

  • John Sloan on 10.01.2014 at 12:03 am

    Great to see some familiar names in the posts above. Don’t forget Gunner, the Admiral, Freddie Leggs, Kay Callahan, Snookie and his dog Blondie…the list could go on and on

  • Peter Kaufman on 10.01.2014 at 5:41 am

    I graduated BU in 1981. One of my journalism professors used to hold “office hours” at the Dugout. Someone asked him what his hours were…he said, “Till you stop buying me drinks!” Had more fun here than anywhere except The Rat.

  • Billy Flynn on 10.01.2014 at 6:19 am

    The dogs name was Kay as well as the waitress. “You don’t have to go home , but you can’t stay here ” was how she kicked us out .

    The Dugout could easily draw you away from
    going to the class….

  • PK on 10.01.2014 at 9:52 am

    Prof. Iffland, that is great about Dylan Thomas. In the Littlest Bar (R.I.P.) there was a brass plaque bolted to the wall of the men’s room, engraved: “Seamus Heaney Peed Here.”

  • John Monahan on 10.01.2014 at 11:18 am

    I graduated in 1972 and it was not until 1973 that the drinking age was lowered to 18. The great part about the Dugout is that they were never very concerned with checking I.D.’s. The same was true with The Boston Club (now The Paradise) where all it took to get in and start cocktailing (and watching The Bermuda Strollers) was a college I.D. – not a driver’s license.

  • David white on 10.03.2014 at 5:07 pm

    My name is Dave White and I am from Canada. I went to B.U. on a hockey scholarship in the late 60’s. Although I never got along with Jack Kelley my time at B.U. and the dugout was absolutely fantastic. Jimmy O’keefe knew I was struggling and money was tight because Kelley wanted my scholarship money but could not get it from me. Jimmy offered me work and even did not charge me for beer. It was my home away from home and years after graduation I brought my soon to be bride Nancy there as soon after we got off the expressway, to meet Jimmy. I have finished 30 years of teaching and coaching hockey and want to bring our 3 grown children to see the Dugout. What a fantastic article and believe me the Dugout and Mr. O’Keefe are very, very dear to my heart.

    • John Sloan on 10.07.2014 at 11:51 pm

      I get it Dave! Parker came @ BU later and things changed a bit for the better I think for the Terriers.

  • Joe Boden on 10.03.2014 at 10:09 pm

    My favorite Dugout memory: Tony Amonte standing on a barstool leading the chant of “BC sucks!” after scoring a hat trick and being named Beanpot MVP in the 1991 Championship game. What a night. :)

  • J.B. on 10.17.2014 at 10:08 am

    Although I’ll admit Cornwalls is my tavern of choice on campus, I do frequent the Dugout from time to time, especially after BU events like the Christmas Party (when there’s a line out the door). Always fun to see who from around campus is raising a glass there (if you’re lucky, Dean Elmore might buy your next round).

    One of my most amusing memories of the Dugout was ordering a Stella Artois one day after work, and when it was served in its “fancy” glass, a tipsy curmudgeon at the other end of the bar asked me “Are you European?”. I replied in the negative, although seeing as he was drinking a glass of white wine at the time, I thought of a few questions I could fire back, but decided to simply enjoy my (European) beverage in peace.

  • Vito diGregorio on 10.22.2014 at 10:26 pm

    I graduated from CAS in 1981. I knew F. Kennedy very well in late 70’s and played stickball with my buddies in the neighboring McKinnley schoolyard vs Kennedy and his “buzzards”

    • Darce on 05.02.2016 at 11:49 am

      I graduated from B.U. in 93 and me and my guys were always in the Dug Out. My cousin was a bartender there for 20 plus years. The Commander and I were always engaging in some political back and forth. We used to take Frank Kennedy to other bars after his day shift was over and tell people he was our grandfather and it was his birthday. Frank loved it.
      We recently moved and I found a picture of Frank and me on graduation day in the dug out me in my cap and gown and Frank wearing a Harvard Football hat I am sure Bernie gave him! Good times and great article.

  • Dave Watson on 11.01.2014 at 11:42 am

    As he would remind us often that we’re all actors (on The Dugout stage),I would wholeheartedly nominate one Joseph Manning Lally for his Outstamding Performance in a Supporting Role in a continuous drama/comedy. I’m hoping he had the last laugh and is now occasionally resting in peace,when not needling,agitating,and being an all-around ball-buster!

  • Dave Watson on 11.01.2014 at 4:54 pm

    Footnote to Jimmy O’Keefe’s personal history……Jimmy’s mother was a maid/cleaning lady for James J. Storrow,a banker and one-time head of General Motors,after whom Storrow Drive is named…….the “J” of Storrow’s middle name was for “Jackson”…Jimmy’s mother admiringly named her son after her employer….(as told to me by her son)

  • ryan on 11.08.2014 at 4:40 pm


  • John Webb on 01.26.2015 at 2:40 pm

    Ah…to raise a Schlitz and listen to Freddy sing I Left My Heart in San Francisco…just one more time….

    • TH on 10.08.2015 at 10:07 pm

      Nice story with quite a few factual errors. To clarify,this would be a young Heineken in the photo-Kay,Kay rarely ventured outside on her own and would never stay outside alone. Jim would exercise her mostly in the back alley before heading upstairs to his first floor apartment above the bar. Kay,Kay stayed right by Jim’s side all day from the moment she ventured in one day as a stray. She was with Jim from morning coffee to lunch from Mal’s Deli and as Hawaii Five-O (Book-em Dano)ended in the late afternoon. Very fond memories of Bruce Hurst shutting out the Mets in game 1 in 1986 as Mr. O’Keefe stayed in the back room for the entire game. I was with Jim, Frank and Kay,Kay when she was put down in Brighton at 13 years of age. I find it fascinating the different memories of folks who share one thing in common: The comfort of a no pretense bar where anyone was welcome: student, professor, university president, future NHL star, custodian, cop or fireman. Read Jeremiah Murphy’s obituary from the Boston Globe to get a real sense of the man James Jackson O’Keefe. If you measure a man by the wealth of friends Jim was richer than Buffet, Gates, Rockefeller and Carnegie combined.

  • GEORGE J KLECZKA on 10.23.2015 at 2:24 pm

    I worked for Sandy Richardson in the canteen at Walpole Prison and through him I got to know the rest of the Brinks gang inside during the late sixties.Two of them and I got to be pretty good friends,Jazz and Pino.When I was about to get released from my last Bit in 82 I got in touch with Jazz,we met at Forest Hills and went to the Dugout.The guy I was to know as Keefe was surely a character right out of the roaring twenties.When he heared what I needed he smiled and said Those days are gone my friend.I am 81 now and know full well what he meant by that remark.

  • Doug Tynan on 02.03.2016 at 7:45 am

    Frequented the Dugout from 71 to 78 – closing time was supposed to be at 12:30 but somehow it re-opened a few minutes later, the 65 cent Schlitz and Buds, office hours with a number of faculty in the booths. After spending many days in labs that all seemed to be in basements, it seemed natural to drink in a basement. Later when I taught at Michigan State they apolotgized to me for a assigning me a basement office, and I asked for when the bar opened. The best was post hockey, obviously, whether the games were at the old Arena, then the “new” Babcock St rink with the one spot that never seemed to freeze or the old Garden, we all went back to the Dugout. I recall one player wearing all four of his ECAC watches and feeling bad for Mike Eruziione who was on teams that won four ECAC championships, but never won the “big one”, the NCAA. But he made up for it.

  • Illona Corrado on 05.19.2016 at 8:39 am

    Valuable comments ! I learned a lot from the analysis – Does someone know where my business would be able to get ahold of a template IRS 4562 copy to complete ?

  • Kerry velasquez on 08.30.2016 at 1:35 am

    John…did you have a good friend named Ray who tended bar at the DO 1975-76? I remember the bar very well.

  • Kerry Velasquez on 09.01.2016 at 1:00 am

    The message I posted was for John Sloan and his friends name was Ray Massey.

    • John Sloan on 12.27.2016 at 1:58 am

      Kerry, His name was Ray Malley. He is deceased. Dave Watson, Eddie Conroy, Ray Malley, Kay, Richie, Gunner, Snookie and Blondie, Kay-Kay and Heinekin/Frank Kennedy. the Admiral, the Colonel, Arturo Murphey were jus a few of the people I knew there. I remember you as well :)

  • Julie on 02.25.2017 at 9:30 pm

    I attended BU from 71-74 and just love going to the Dugout…I was in the Nursing School and my girlfriends and I would head over to the bar and watch our soap operas (general hospital, of course) in the back room. It was not a favorite activity of the establishment but who could argue with paying customers, right? Everyone was always so nice and fun–from fellow students to the firefighters and business people from the area. One of my fondest memories was coming in from my suburban home during the Christmas holidays and watching a hockey game. We went to the Dugout after the game and sang Christmas carols with the BU hockey team who had to be in the city. Great times. I remember Kaye too. I believe she retired early in the 70s but loved seeing the oil painting of her.

  • John Webb on 01.26.2018 at 3:19 pm

    This story never gets old. I played football from ’68 to ’72 and Jimmy would “hire” us as bouncers during the hockey season. I believe the pay rate was 2 to 3 beers an hour and a few cases at the end of the night. We were perfectly happy and well paid!

  • carol Connolly on 06.24.2018 at 11:23 am

    Boston – The Best Place on Earth..Lived on BSR and frequented the DO from 1977 -1981. Fond memories of Kay, Jimmy O’Keefe, Tommy Byrnes, Blizzard and Freddy Legs. Stop in every now and then when I am in the area. Blizzard ’78, Parliments and Molson.

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