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Last call looms for Daisy Buchanan’s

Fans of Daisy’s share memories

Courtney Agar captured some scenes at Daisy Buchanan’s, a Back Bay institution since 1970. The bar, known as a favorite among Boston’s professional athletes, held a goodbye party on Saturday. Its owners plan to reopen it at another location.Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff

Just days after Daisy Buchanan’s held its goodbye party, longtime regular Toby Marshall looked over the bustling bar scene Saturday night with beer in hand, warm light bouncing from an old chandelier off the dark mahogany paneled walls. He was soaking it all in.

“It just feels like it’d be a normal night,” said Marshall, 38, one of the daytime regulars at the longtime Back Bay establishment.

He said it was hard to believe it might be one of the bar’s last weekends.

Daisy Buchanan’s was opened in 1970 by Suffolk Law School graduate Joseph Cimino, who partnered with Derek Sanderson of the Boston Bruins and Jimmy McDonough. But 44 years later, Cimino’s son is searching for a new home for the bar, whose name was inspired by the heroine in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic book “The Great Gatsby.”


The building was sold last spring, said Joseph Cimino Jr., one of the bar’s managers. He decided it was time to move on from the Newbury Street location because of space restrictions, and is searching for a new location in the Back Bay.

“It is sad,” Cimino said. “It’s certainly been a chapter closing. But a new chapter is opening.”

Owner Cimino’s other son, Mike, who had made a surprise visit, coming from New York to celebrate the establishment that had held such a prominent place in his life, said he was not sure exactly when the bar will close its doors, but expects it will be soon.

“Obviously, it’s emotional,” said Cimino, 24.

When they do close shop, Joseph Cimino said, he will take everything he can so he can replicate the ambience and the look at the new Daisy’s. For the time being, some Daisy’s employees are taking jobs at McGreevy’s, an Irish pub and sports bar on Boylston Street.


“I absolutely believe some of them will come back” when Daisy’s reopens, said Joseph Cimino, who hopes to have a new location within a year.

Patrons of all ages descended the steps Saturday night into the basement bar, which is lovingly referred to as just “Daisy’s.” College football games streamed on televisions, while regulars swapped memories, savoring the bar’s final days.

Mike Cimino worked his way through the bar Saturday night, shaking hands.

“It’s been such a staple in my life. . . . I realize how much it means to other people, more so than just my family,” he said. “It really is an institution and the clientele we’ve had come through here, there’s no other place like this in the city.”

Patrons throughout the bar agreed, including Bill Hartmann, 68, who said he had been lifting glasses at Daisy’s for 34 years.

“There’s nothing else like it,” he said, adjusting his Red Sox hat. “Cheap beer, good company.”

Courtney Agar, 28, sat at the other end of the bar across from the booth she and her friends often occupy. She held a camera and snapped photos, capturing some of Daisy’s last moments.

“It’s the place you can always go to, and it’s completely fun and eclectic, all at the same time,” she said. “And it’s great for the neighborhood. It’s an institution with history behind it. It’s one of those things that you hate to see it go.”

A big appeal at Daisy’s was the constant flow of professional athletes who dropped by. They came not to be treated like VIPs but to be treated like equals, according to Mike Cimino.


“I’ve hung out with everyone in here, from Junior Seau to Wes Welker to Rob Gronkowski,” said Marshall, who sat next to Cimino as they reminisced.

Memories were shared by patrons, remembering stars like Bobby Orr, Terry O’Reilly, Jake Peavy, and Mike Napoli, who all blended into the crowd during visits.

Another regular, Spencer Galvin, 28, of Boston, said it felt right to have a lot of old employees and patrons back to share stories.

“I’d always call this place a melting pot to a certain degree,” said Galvin, who worked as a doorman at Daisy’s when he was 21. “That’s always what I love about this place.”

“Everybody’s got a Daisy’s story,” he said.

“It really is like ‘Cheers,’ ” said Marshall, referring to the classic television series. “It’s a neighborhood hangout; everyone comes here.”

He paused.

“It really is the end of the era.”

Globe correspondent Melissa Hanson contributed to this report. Derek J. Anderson can be reached at derek.anderson@globe.com.