Menino is missed at DryDock Cafe, one of his favorite spots

The mood was somber today at DryDock Café, as they mourned one of their most loyal regulars, former Boston mayor Thomas M. Menino.

The unassuming restaurant in the Seaport District was among the mayor’s favorite Boston dining spots for at least a decade. It is a bright, open space, decorated simply with a few paintings of ships.

“Sometimes I saw him two or three times a week,” said owner Cathy Spiropoulos, who opened the restaurant 14 years ago. “Practically every Friday night he would have dinner with his family and grandchildren.”


She believes Menino enjoyed supporting her restaurant “because he liked to help out the small person.”

Get Fast Forward in your inbox:
Forget yesterday's news. Get what you need today in this early-morning email.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

The mayor ate healthfully, the staff said, often enjoying a piece of grilled haddock -- and the company of any constituents who happened to be in the restaurant.

“He came here as a family man, not a politician,” said Barbi Conley, a server who has worked at DryDock for a decade. “It wasn’t the sort of thing where they said, ‘Don’t bother him’ — the whole restaurant would be at his table.”

Even as his health declined, Menino never complained, Spiropoulos said. “It was always, ‘How you feeling, mayor?’ and he’d say, ‘I’m great.’

“He is going to be sorely missed.”

Mark Arsenault can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @bostonglobemark