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Amrheins property in South Boston under agreement for $18m

Amrheins will remain open for at least another year and a half, according to its manager.
Amrheins will remain open for at least another year and a half, according to its manager.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

The owner of the iconic South Boston restaurant Amrheins has reached an agreement to sell the half-acre site for $18 million, a restaurant manager said Friday.

Rory Mulrey, manager of the establishment that bills itself as “The Oldest Restaurant & Bar in Southie,” said his father, Stephen Mulrey — who owns the property — has reached an agreement with City Point Capital, a real estate development firm based on A Street. The agreement has yet to be finalized, and the property still needs to be inspected, among other things, he said.

“Nothing’s final,” Mulrey said.

Patrons looked over the menu in Amrheins’ dining room.
Patrons looked over the menu in Amrheins’ dining room.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

The business itself was not sold, Mulrey said. Amrheins will remain open at the corner of West Broadway and A Street, where it has called home since 1890, for at least another year and a half, since the business would still retain a lease there, he said. That lease could be extended — but the restaurant could also move to a different location, Mulrey said.

The restaurant would look to stay in the city, he said, but would not rule out moving out of South Boston.

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“There’s nothing set . . . in stone,” he said.

The restaurant’s owners are looking to stay in the city, but would not rule out moving out of South Boston.
The restaurant’s owners are looking to stay in the city, but would not rule out moving out of South Boston.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

The Mulrey family has owned the establishment since the 1950s. They decided to sell now, Mulrey said, because his father is approaching retirement age.

“We hope to find a great location where it can continue to serve the community,” Mulrey said.

The news was first reported by The Real Reporter, a Greater Boston real estate publication. The Globe reported in August that the restaurant — and its prized parking lot next door — had been put up for sale.

The parking lot at Amrheins.
The parking lot at Amrheins.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

In addition to holding the title of oldest bar in South Boston, Amrheins claims to have both the first draft beer pump in the city and an ornate hand-carved wooden bar that is the oldest of its kind in America. It also holds a place in the memories of generations of residents of the tight-knit neighborhood around it.

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The place also holds a spot in Boston political lore. The function room is named for former mayor James Michael Curley, and many local pols — from former city councilor Dapper O’Neil to US Representative Stephen Lynch — often held court there. It has long been a popular stop on the fund-raising circuit, and for endorsement speeches for candidates eager to gain some Southie cred.

Messages left with City Point Capital were not immediately returned late Friday afternoon.

Server Maureen Walsh waits at the bar.
Server Maureen Walsh waits at the bar. John Tlumacki/Globe Staff
A detail from the top of the bar, which is the oldest hand-carved bar in America.
A detail from the top of the bar, which is the oldest hand-carved bar in America.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff
A woman inside Amrheins in South Boston.
A woman inside Amrheins in South Boston. John Tlumacki/Globe Staff
A red curtain opens up to the James Michael Curley Room, which is named for the former mayor of Boston.
A red curtain opens up to the James Michael Curley Room, which is named for the former mayor of Boston.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

Tim Logan of the Globe staff contributed to this report. Danny McDonald can be reached at daniel.mcdonald@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @Danny__McDonald.