Few businesses can lay claim to the fact that the legendary Babe Ruth was a guest but the Winthrop Arms Hotel and Restaurant can.
The Bambino and several of his then-Red Sox teammates used to stay at the Arms back in 1916 when the Winthrop landmark first opened its doors. Two years later, of course, the Babe was traded to the Yankees.
The Arms has been an integral part of the Winthrop hospitality scene ever since and it’s been onward and upward as David Goll celebrates his 35th year of ownership, having assumed command in 1978 when he was 23 years old.
A Winthrop resident, Goll is proud of his restaurant’s stature as a revered name in the restaurant industry, the fact he knows almost all of his customers by name, and that his famous chicken pie is second to none.
Goll is also a proud father of three children, Jonathan, a graduate of UMass/Boston who is working as an accountant at Boston University, Casey, a hockey player at the University of Southern New Hampshire, and Chelsea, a hockey player at Northeastern University.
Goll was asked what the secret is to keeping a restaurant at the forefront of excellence.
“I buy the best stuff and I keep the place immaculate,” said Goll. “That sums up our restaurant. I know about 95 percent of our customers and I think that’s important.”
Goll has seen two generations of Winthrop residents come through his doors. “I have watched parents bring their children here and now those children are now parents and they started coming here,” said Goll.
The chicken pie is No. 1 on the list of popular items at the Arms.
“It’s our famous chicken pie – homemade and available seven days a week,” said Goll. “It’s $6.95 to go, a super deal.”
Diners also take delight in the haddock, scallops, and friend clams on the menu.
The newest addition at the Arms has been the Sunday brunch, which is building up a wide following. This past Sunday, diners enjoyed omelettes, homemade blueberry muffins, potato pancakes, and other specialties.
“The brunch is not a buffet – everything is cooked to order,” said Goll.
The Rotary Club has held their weekly luncheon meetings at the Arms for the past several years. Several local organizations and groups also hold gatherings and special parties at the Arms.
Goll is looking ahead to the next 35 years of ownership.
“I’m excited about the future,” said Goll. “Hopefully one of my kids will come in when I’m done and continue on.”
No matter what, the Arms will always have a special place in the hearts and stomachs of Winthrop residents.