Restaurants

Readers share their unforgettable Top of the Hub stories

"Not quite the Mile High Club, but close.”

top of the hub closing
The Prudential Center in Boston's Back Bay, as pictured in 2017. David L. Ryan / The Boston Globe

When we asked for your most memorable Top of the Hub moments, we received more than 50 responses. We learned that staff have seen their fair share of special moments. Spoiler alert: There were a lot of proposals. But we also learned that many of you had unforgettable dates, celebrated with family and friends, enjoyed the free appetizers (and views), but had some underwhelming experiences, too. We think your stories all deserve a shout-out. So we grouped them by category and shared them all below. Scroll through the memories and let us know your favorites in the comments.

Responses have been lightly edited for clarity and length.

You stole, got high, and shouted

“Watching my elderly auntie steal the salt and pepper shakers as a souvenir. In her 80s and sneaky!” —Name Withheld to Protect the Innocent

“I worked at the TOH for over 10 years in the late 80s early 90s. One night in particular we all drank after hours with Marvin Hagler. He spent hours talking about his unforgettable fights with Sugar Ray Leonard and Tommy Hearns. Countless times we would have to walk through the restaurant after it closed to make sure no one was there before shutting off the elevators. I can’t tell you how many times we found couples in let’s say ‘compromising situations.’ Not quite the Mile High Club, but close.” —Brad Smaith

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A group of us were leaving and got in the express elevator on the 52nd floor to go down to the lobby. Just as the door to the elevator closed I told everyone on my cue to jump. At the right moment, everyone in the elevator jumped up. Also at that very same moment the elevator began its fast decent. When our feet came back down on the floor we were many feet below the point we jumped. Everyone screamed. It was the best! —Hank Stevenson

When my buddy was going to Northeastern and I was going to UConn, I visited him and we got totally baked and went up there late one night. We spent the bare minimum requirement to be able to have a table by the window. It was sick. —Kevin Wetmore

It’s where you got engaged

Proposed to my wife of 32 years there in 1987. Still together. —Jim Golden

Proposed marriage to my my wife (in Feb. 1998) at night over dinner. No view – 0% visibility because of fog – great night nonetheless (she said yes!) —Jason Walsh

Joshua Bolduc and fiancé at the Top of the Hub.

At the Top of the Hub my girlfriend (now wife) and I were watching the sun as it set over Fenway Park. I feigned urgency when I told her to “stop and hold still.” At first she was alarmed but then she giggled when I put my hand behind her ear. I pulled the engagement ring out from behind her ear. She said yes before I could even bend down to one knee! When I heard that Top of the Hub was closing I immediately made a reservation for Valentine’s day. —Joshua Bolduc

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Evan and Julianne White on their wedding day.

I tried to propose but it was so busy, there was nowhere to kneel. Finally, she went to wash her hands before our meals were brought, it had calmed down a bit, I walked over to a couple sitting next to us and gave them my phone so they could take a picture. She came back, I went down, painfully on a still-recovering surgically repaired knee, and proposed. She said yes. The entire restaurant clapped. Then, our exceptional waiter brought us two slices of cake with ‘congratulations’ written in chocolate sauce, and two glasses of champagne. We’ve been happily married for nearly four years. —Evan White

My husband and I got engaged at Top of the Hub in March 2008. In 2019 we celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary! —Sarah Baker

Afternoon martinis the day my fiancé, Chris Benedetto, and I got engaged ? — Katrina Russell

My husband proposed to me there, in December 2000. —Kathi Mulligan

The year was 1975, the night was December 4th and it was the most wonderful night of my life because she said “yes”. I took her to “The Top of the Hub” that night for her birthday. We sat in the Northeast corner, next to all of that glass! Connie wore a beautiful red dress with spaghetti straps and at times during the meal I saw that she appeared to be cold. Over and over during dinner I asked her if she wanted to have my suit jacket on her shoulders but she kept saying no that’s OK. Finally though as dinner ended I asked her again and this time she said yes and as I went to take my jacket off, I suddenly remembered that I had her engagement ring in the inside pocket because I was going to ask her to marry me. All of a sudden I had to think of why she couldn’t have my jacket !!

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Anyway I was able to slip it out of my jacket and into my pocket and as desert came, I stood up again, went to her and to her surprise I got down on one knee in front of the whole restaurant and told her that ” I took you to the Top of the Hub because you make me feel on top of the world, Will you please Marry me?” I’m so happy to say that she said yes, and after I put the ring on her finger, kissed her and told her I love her, I stood up to see all the men clapping and all of the ladies crying. And just as I asked for, the Maitre D’ right on time came with the champagne, followed by the guy with the violin. Tony DiBona

You had magical dates

When going up in the elevator, my date urgently informed me she was afraid of heights. It worked out. We’ve been together 33 years. —Craig P.

We decided to spend our first night as a married couple in Boston and have a special dinner, just the two of us, at the Top of the Hub. We showed up in our full wedding attire, ball gown and all. We had such a memorable experience and enjoyed such a delicious dinner along with complimentary champagne. The Top of the Hub will forever hold such a special place in our hearts and we have been back a couple times since. I will be so sad to see it go. —Savannah Histen

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Only got to the Top of the Hub with my girlfriend back in 1992. We had a great time and still talk about it today. We’re sad to hear about it shutting its doors but the good news is me and her are still together after 28 years. —Jimmy Morash

When my husband (then fiancé) returned from boot camp in 1973. He couldn’t wait to take me to the Top of the Hub for dinner. The food and the view will always be a pleasant, fond memory. —Mary Chochrek

Went there as a teenager, trying to impress my then girlfriend (now wife of 29 years). The memorable (and unfortunate) part of the visit was that the waiter dropped the entire (very large) tray of desserts that they bring to your table from which to make your choice. We felt horrible for the poor person. —Matt V.

Top of the Hub_Richard Appleman

Rich and Jane Appleman at the Top of the Hub.

Our 51st anniversary. The exact day and time of our wedding in JP happened this past Dec. 21. We have enjoyed many special events here, but this was magical. —Rich and Jane Appleman

Being 21 years old in 1990 and regularly going to the 5 p.m. free appetizer buffet with $8 dollars (for one tall drafty) wearing a suit and chatting with women. —Jim Broadbent

Drinking martinis with my husband and watching the Constitution going to Marblehead for its 200th Birthday Party in 1997. There was a flotilla behind it that had to be a mile long. It was pretty incredible to see from the Top of the Hub! —Ellie Doyle

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Must’ve been New Year’s Eve 1987. On a whim, me and my brother decided to take our dates to Boston from the South Shore. Turned out to be like the first First Night ever. Ended up eating at the Top of the Hub, bill came to $100, we barely had enough to cover it between us four “kids,” and we were unable to leave a tip (and I’ll forever feel bad about that.) Our dates, the two sisters, both later passed away way too young due to breast cancer ? ? Both were very sweet. ? The night was one to remember. Cheers ? Top of the Hub. Thanks for the memories (sorry about the tip). —Dave DiPietro

You celebrated with family and friends

My folks were big foodies way before it was an in thing, they always wanted us to “experience iconic” places. They took myself and my 3 sisters in the 60s to the Top of the Hub. Great view. just an experience that lingers for life. Sorry to see it go. — David Krekorian

Joyce Brennan’s daughter at the Top of the Hub.

“I have many fun memories back when I lived in Boston in the 90s, but recently I took my 12-year-old daughter for dessert. She started telling me about a boy she had a crush on. It was quite a big Mom moment. Crossing the line into tween at the Top of the Hub. A night I will never forget.” — Joyce Brennan

My husband and I along with our little 4 year old would travel to Boston every Wednesday from Connecticut to discover the lovely and exciting city and take in lunch at the Top of the Hub. The food was always delicious and they catered to our son who was mesmerized by the view. We always went to the Observation Tower to take in every angle of the city. We will definitely go there before its closing. It is so sad. It will be bittersweet. — Janice DiBonaventura

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Having my two grandchildren take me to dinner on a beautiful Sunday afternoon — Nancy Mahoney

When I was in middle school (in the late 80s–early 90s) my Grandmother would take me back to school shopping in Boston. It was a day with just the two of us, made even more special because it included lunch at the Top of the Hub. I didn’t truly appreciate it at the time because I was young and the crowds in town were intimidating. Now I look back at those outings with warmth and gratitude. — Corin Gigler

I can remember going with my family to the Top of the Hub for their incredible brunch in the early 1970s. We were kids, and had to get dressed up. It was quite an experience. I’m sad to hear they are closing, but I will always have a wonderful memory of going there with my family. — Barry Leavitt

1. Fourth grade class trip. Wow, it was awesome. I brought home a little tea cup set for my mom. 2. My future mother-in-law brought me to the Hub for dinner while shopping in Boston. I was fifteen. Little did we know that I would indeed marry her son. — Maureen Coulter

Taking my niece there as part of an annual birthday shopping and dining celebration. — Kate Raisz

Celebrated birthdays with my niece MaryAnn. Also watched the Boston Marathon from the restaurant. Always so special. It will be truly missed! — Ann M. DeLuca

Throughout the mid-80s a group of friends would meet up at Top of the Hub every single Thursday after work. Fun. Free appetizers. Live music. Surprises. I was so sad to hear of its closing this coming April. I called one of those friends, who recently moved to Arizona, to laugh over our history there. I’m trying to gather a group for one last hurrah. — M Tee

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In 1966 we were 3 Danish girls arriving to work at MGH. I went back to Denmark, but returned in 1974, and my life was in Boston and Cape Cod until 2015. All our celebrations, of course, at the Top of the Hub. I have been there at least 100 times with different friends. I live now in Denmark, my neighbor here has a son in Boston and of course I told them to visit the Top of the Hub. They came back excited and showed me photos. I love it soooo much. PLEAAASE do not close. — Bo Madsen

Loved going there with my Aunt Ginny when I was young. Felt so sophisticated.??? —Karen Hunter Edwards

Took my son after the Patriots season opener in 2019. Glad he was able to experience it. (We live in CA.) —Jeanette DeHart

Exceptional!! Service, food, and ambiance! Literally cried with the thoughts of not celebrating there again. —Margaret Robbins Sislane

It was my wife’s birthday. She went to work and passed out at the office. Detail: she was pregnant. I get her at the office with some scratches on her face. We run to MGH to confirm everything was ok with her and the baby. Our night was sealed with an unforgettable dinner at the Top of the Hub. We always laugh about that day. I planned that dinner for days and it almost haven’t happened. —Raphael Peniche

Celebrating birthdays with a view! Gladys and friends! —Julie Manning Mitchell

My friends and I celebrated taking bar exams there in 1980! The end of a long road that started at Northeastern Law for me and others. —Tom Coish

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Last year, my oldest son & wife wedding rehearsal dinner!!! Food, beverage & service were great & view was a beautiful. —Rick K

I went with a friend for my 24th birthday and we had a delicious meal. We went to the bar for some after dinner drinks and there was an after wedding party there carrying on the celebration, and they invited us to join them. We stayed late, drank bottles of wine and scotch until the very last minute. As we were getting ready to leave we learned that the elevator was out of service and would have to walk down approx 20 flights of stairs and take the elevator down from there. We were all quite tipsy so it was a comical experience. Good Luck Top of the Hub and we are sad to see you go!!!! —Melissa Sicovs

We went there for my Brother’s graduation from MIT. My family has gone there for years. Definitely will be missed. — Margaret Lamont

You were underwhelmed

First and only time — giant dead fly in my $18 sandwich. Place would not even comp the meal. —Anonymous

Frozen food from a grocery store. —Bob Abishola

Over-cooked tasteless steak, that even the amazing Boston view couldn’t make it taste better lol. —Mona Bazargani

Horrible food, but a nice view. —Bradley Bucklin

Went up it was too crowded so we left, 40 years ago. —Jean Spera

My wife (girlfriend at the time) went there for a special occasion (what an original idea). Food was good – we had several courses. Oddly enough, none of our used plates were taken away. By the end of the meal we were literally talking to each other over a stack of dishes. I wrote a note afterwards about our disappointing experience. We were invited back for a meal on the house. Nice and appreciated gesture, but during our meal we had staff staring at us from the fringes. Very uncomfortable – we never went back. —Jeff K

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Didn’t have one – ate there once and the service was terrible and the food was so so. This is the biggest puff piece of a story. You paid big bucks for the view. Glad it shut down. —Tim Dugan

Love to say our Top of the Hub memory is a good one but it is not. They treated us so rudely that we left before the meal started. We’ve never gone back and wouldn’t even if they weren’t closing. —Chrissie Mac

When they charged me $35 for plain pasta with olive oil and diced tomatoes. —Mary M

Paid $75 for 4 drinks that should’ve cost $40 lol. —Conor Nugent

…You will remember the drinks, the ambiance, and everything in between

Visitors can get a bird’s eye view of Boston’s Hancock Tower, Fenway Park, the Boston Common and Public Garden, along with countless other Boston landmarks the Skywalk Observatory at the top of the Prudential Center.

Their pear martini is the absolute best! —Kristen Sayde

Martinis. —Cindy Pinder

While in college in Boston for the ’65-’66 season, I worked at the Pru Skywalk and once on elevator duty (helping people on and off) there was the other elevator across from mine taking people up to Top of the Hub and one night had the honor of meeting Edward Everett Horton who was going up to enjoy dinner with friends. I never did get a chance to eat up there as it was a little too rich for me. —David Scrivens

In the early 90’s, seeing vocalist Michelle Bishop and pianist Steve Soares perform. —Michael Thompson

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Last time I was there, was in the late 90’s, I had a virgin Bloody Mary. I don’t remember the date or the Bloody Mary, but the view was spectacular. —Olga Milendorf

I cant believe that another restaurant operator wont take this on. Greedy landlord? —James A Brown

Coming down and finding a $50.00 parking ticket. —Mary Phillips

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