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The Boston Globe

Metro

Hilltop’s closure is a steak in the heart

SAUGUS — Phil Mercurio, 79 and still a hearty eater, was polishing off his Salisbury steak as he recalled the days when the crowds spilled out the front door of the Hilltop Steakhouse and into the parking lot behind. Hundreds of diners would line up alongside the life-size decorative cows as they waited to hear their number and seating area (“87 Kansas City!”) called.

Romantic outings and special family occasions took place here, decade after decade, surrounded by western-themed kitsch that made a night out seem like a trip to Disney’s Frontierland and a good steak worth the drive from miles away.

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