Bostonians devastated that the legendary Doyle’s Cafe plans to shut down are drawing up an 11th-hour Hail Mary to save the legendary Jamaica Plain pub.
The Facebook group “Save Doyle’s Cafe” formed after the news broke last week that Doyle’s was selling its liquor license to Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse. The group’s organizers are telling the more than 1,300 followers to send positive postcards to Doyle’s owner Gerry Burke.
“Write a postcard or a letter to the owner of the building ASAP asking him to help Doyle’s get back on their feet,” they wrote on Facebook. “Tell him what it means to your family and your community; tell him about your rehearsal dinner, your school fundraiser, your kid’s birthday party you had there. Pledge to him that you will eat there at least once a month to make Doyle’s financially sustainable.”
The pub with a storied 137-year history of hosting political candidates and fundraisers plans to sell its liquor license to Davio’s for the fashionable chophouse’s soon-to-open Seaport location. Rising real-estate costs in Jamaica Plain are to blame.
Burke did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
“There are a lot of people in JP who care and are committed to keeping Doyle’s going,” Ed Burley of Save Doyle’s Cafe told the Herald. “It would be a tragedy if Doyle’s went to the scrap heap.”
The group is telling people to call Mayor Martin Walsh to “help us preserve this Boston institution.” Members have floated the idea of sending a petition to the Boston Landmarks Commission — to declare Doyle’s a landmark.
“There’s a lot of historical significance at Doyle’s, so we think it’s an important track to pursue,” Burley said.
City Hall documents show the pending sale of Doyle’s seven-day, all-alcohol license. Davio’s is set to purchase the license for $455,000. There will be a Licensing Board hearing for the sale on Wednesday.
City Councilor Matt O’Malley said he’s been reeling from news of the impending closing of Doyle’s. Since then, he has reached out to Burke family associates, restaurateurs and city officials to gauge interest in finding a new operator for the institution.
“There’s a real desire to work with a new operator on a neighborhood-centric restaurant and bar,” said O’Malley, who has hosted political fundraisers at Doyle’s and called it his “unofficial district office.”
Doyle’s is the first home of Samuel Adams beer, and many on social media have said Sam Adams should save Doyle’s. But there are no plans for Boston Beer Company to purchase the iconic pub.
“We’re heartbroken to learn an institution with so much history in our neighborhood and that our coworkers, drinkers and Boston Brewery visitors have frequented for years plans to close its doors,” the Boston Beer Company said in a statement. “We’ve been in touch with our friends at Doyle’s, including Gerry Burke, and together recognize that times change, tastes evolve, and neighborhoods turn over. While we hope to honor Doyle’s in a memorable way, The Boston Beer Company does not currently have plans to purchase the property.”