There may be days-old snow banks still piled high on Boston’s streets, but a sign of spring is upon us: As of Friday morning, Sullivan’s Castle Island is back open after closing for the season on Nov. 25.
The legendary stand is known for its hot dogs, lobster rolls, burgers, and soft serve — affordable bites offered just a quick jaunt away from nearby Fort Independence. Opened by Dan Sullivan, Sr. in June of 1951, the Southie landmark has been a seasonal highlight for both locals and tourists, and is still a family-owned operation.
In celebration of the stand’s seasonal opening, hot dogs — normally $2.20 — will be offered at half the price for $1.10, a deal that will last until next Saturday, March 9.
A new item has made it to the menu this season as well: a traditional root beer float, which includes vanilla soft serve.
Although Sullivan’s was supposed to open at 8:30 a.m. Friday morning, operations manager Harry Markarian said that he opened a full hour early.
“People just kept walking by, asking when we were going to open,” he said, laughing.
Markarian started working at Sullivan’s in 1970; this is his 49th season at the venerable stand.
“It’s been fantastic for someone to be with a family as long as I have and see the changes,” he said. “The customers are what make this place. I always say: It’s a family operation. It’s got reasonable prices and quality food. And it’s not a hard business. We have loyal customers, which allows us the ability to maintain consistent lines.”
You can hop in the line Friday for a hot dog — and a glimpse of spring.
Check out Sullivan’s 2019 opening day in the video below (which may take a moment to load):
Sullivan’s Castle Island; 2080 William J. Day Blvd.; Daily from 8:30 a.m.–close; sullivanscastleisland.com