An Era Ends as City Hall Variety Closes

The local morning and mid-day scene on Broadway will never be quite the same after last Friday’s closing of City Hall Variety on the corner of Broadway and Pleasant Street – abutting City Hall.

Operators Peter and Judy Palladino quietly called it quits last Friday morning after decades of business at the location.

The business had been a pharmacy for the Palladino family since the 1930s and then had morphed into a coffee shop and lunch counter where all corners of the Broadway community converged.

There were business people who worked on Broadway for years who didn’t even have to officially make an order, as the Palladinos already knew what the person wanted.

There were people grabbing a cold drink as they passed through the city on the MBTA buses.

There were also the politicians and City Hall workers, who flocked to the store for coffee, sandwiches, bagels and the best of the city’s local gossip.

For others, on their way to work outside of the city, it was the best place to stop and get a few lottery tickets and a pack of cigarettes.

Prior to the Police Station moving from Pleasant Street a few years back, it was also the preferred place for many local officers to grab a snack or a coffee.

It was definitely Broadway’s version of Shirley Avenue’s Bagel Bin – where the discussions and camaraderie were always more important than the cup of coffee or the food.

Those who were fixtures at the high tables in the back were former City Clerk John Henry, former Councillor and Mayoral Candidate John Jordan, Carmen from the Burnett-Moynihan Lumber yard, former Revere Journal reporter Dick Powers, School Committeeman Michael Ferrante and Voke School Committeeman Ron Jannino – to mention but a few.

Naturally, numerous current councillors also came and went throughout most every day.

“It really is the end of an era,” said Henry.

A new owner will take over the location, and said that he would keep it mostly the same – though there will be some renovations. However, the sign will come down and the name will change.

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