Behind the counter at McKenna’s Cafe, Helena Kelly hustled from customer to customer with a spring in her step. Martin J. Walsh, beloved Savin Hill native and devoted McKenna’s regular, was Boston’s newly elected mayor, the first from Dorchester in half a century.
Those at the humble cafe could not help but take pride.
“We couldn’t be happier,” Kelly said Wednesday, speaking for the restaurant and the neighborhood where Walsh grew up and still lives, just a short walk from McKenna’s. “Everybody who comes in here is behind him 100 percent. He deserves it more than anyone I could think of.”
For Walsh, McKenna’s has been a kind of second home, a respite from the political grind where he can be part of the neighborhood for a while, customers said.
Yet the popular Savin Hill Avenue breakfast spot has also served as Walsh’s political base, a casual campaign stop from which he built a citywide coalition, and could well become a kind of satellite City Hall.
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