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Opening day for South Boston favorite Sullivan’s draws crowds

Despite chilly temperatures, patrons sat outside at Sullivan’s in South Boston on opening day Friday.
Despite chilly temperatures, patrons sat outside at Sullivan’s in South Boston on opening day Friday. David L. Ryan/Globe Staff/Globe Staff

In a sure sign that spring is not far off, hundreds descended on Sullivan’s on Castle Island Friday for half-price hot dogs at the iconic South Boston restaurant.

The temperature was only in the 30s, but lines at lunch time spilled out the door. At one point, the outdoor seating area was standing room only, with customers indulging in fried fish, hot dogs, cheeseburgers, and whatever else could fit on their plate.

Matt Daley, 35, a South Boston native, brought his son for opening day.

“Sullivan’s is the best place to eat in South Boston,” Daley said confidently.

Opening day at the 68-year-old restaurant drew a crowd of regulars who exchanged greetings such as, “I knew I’d see you here,” and “So glad to see you again, how was your winter?”

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Erin Howell of Quincy handed a hot dog to her dog, Buddy.
Erin Howell of Quincy handed a hot dog to her dog, Buddy.David L. Ryan/Globe Staff/Globe Staff

Terri Dalton, 60, of South Weymouth, another South Boston native, said she always tries to go on opening day.

Not even the prospect of back-to-back snow storms predicted for this weekend dulled the excitement.

“It’s a little chillier so the line isn’t as long on opening day,” said Erin Howell, 29, of Quincy, who said she grew up going to Castle Island.

Howell recalled a recent year when the crowds were enormous after Sullivan’s opened early amid unseasonably warm weather in February.

Dolly Crane, 78, said Sullivan’s is a staple in her diet and she was excited to see that scallops had been added to the menu this year.

“Once Sully’s opens, that’s a good sign that spring is almost here,” Crane said.

The line at Sullivan’s moved briskly.
The line at Sullivan’s moved briskly.David L. Ryan/Globe Staff/Globe Staff

Sabrina Schnur can be reached at sabrina.schnur@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @sabrina_schnur.