Just five years after the repeal of Prohibition, the City of Quincy issued a Liquor License for the premises at 23 Des Moines Road, beginning a tradition of fine food and drink, now in its eighth decade. Today, it is one of the oldest Quincy Liquor Licenses to continuously operate at the same location.
Charlie Dan is on record as the first license holder, opening Charlie Dan's Taproom in 1938. Charlie had a successful twelve year run which included the busy World War II years when the nearby shipyard was operating around the clock, producing an amazing 92 U.S. Navy vessels from December 1941 until the end of the war. The shipyard workers earned the highly prized Navy “E” with four stars while Charlie kept them well nourished. Charlie also survived a brazen armed robbery here in August 1940, even managing to fire a few shots from his own pistol at the fleeing bandit! Some old Quincy street directories still list the driveway at Cronin's as Dann Street, a tribute to Charlie.
In 1950, the license was transferred to the Bonnani sisters who changed the name to The Three Little Sisters. Now, over 60 years later, many seniors still remember them fondly. In 1952, Don Vernette bought the business and changed the name to The Pyramid Club. This may have been a reference to the thriving Middle Eastern culture in Quincy Point at that time. In 1963, Jimmy Mitchell took over and opened Jimmy's, which successfully operated for 15 years. Our friends, the Mitchell family, still own a home in the neighborhood.
In 1978 Charles M. "Charlie" Kane took the helm with Kane's Place. The Kane family was in business here until 1990, among the few who survived the closure of the shipyard and the loss of thousands of steady customers. The Kane’s also brought a new focus to the restaurant operation. Charlie's sons Ed and Joe used their experience here to start a number of successful restaurants throughout the region including Tosca and Stars in Hingham and Shrine at the MGM Foxwoods.
After twelve strong years, Charlie Kane sold the premises to his good friends Denis and Margaret Cronin. On June 10, 1990, Cronin's Publick House opened its doors. Now in our third decade, CPH is honored to be the longest holder of this historic license. Six owners in over 70 years and the rest is history!
Of course none of this would have been possible without so many loyal customers throughout the years. We are sincerely grateful for your support.
History researched by Quincy City Clerk Joe Shea