1.3 min readBy Published On: October 10th, 2013Categories: Features2 Comments on Goodbye Hilltop!

we will miss you

“Table for 4 for Sioux City!” No longer will we hear the calls over the P.A. system announcing when your table is ready at the Hilltop.  In the 1980’s, many a South Boston family made the Saturday pilgrimage to Saugus, MA to dine at Frank Guiffrida’s Hilltop Steakhouse with its plastic life size cows and larger than life neon cactus sign.  Remember the paper placemats with the picture of the cow all sectioned off into the different types of beef?

On October 20th, after 52 years in business, the legendary steakhouse will close its doors.  According to an article by Galen Moore of the Boston Business Journal, in a letter to the Saugus Board of Selectmen the owners stated the closing is due to a “dramatic change in the volume of our business.”  A sign of the times – gone are the two hour waits for tables that younger versions of ourselves would painfully endure.  Our parents took us there because the steaks were good, the cocktails were strong and they were a family friendly establishment. 

Southie Legend:
Early one morning in the 1980’s, Southie awoke to find one of the life-size plastic cows from the Hilltop at the intersection of L and East Broadway.  We’re not sure how they stole the cow, or how they transported to Southie.  We’re not really sure who actually did it – although many still take credit for it.  It still remains a mystery.

We will miss you Hilltop Steakhouse but your legend will live on!


  1. Anonymous October 11, 2013 at 1:53 am

    Get your cows straight. It wasn’t a Hilltop cow, it was a cow on a trailer that was in front of Liberty Bell Roast Beef. Someone, who will remain nameless, attached it to their trailer hitch, towed it to East Broadway and parked it in front of South Ocean.


  2. Robert King October 27, 2013 at 9:33 am

    I lived in Boston in the late 80’s, now in Dallas.

    My then girlfriend, now ex-wife, raved about the Hilltop.  And, between the giant cactus, large vodka and tonics without any tonic and the half a cow they usually served up I was hooked from the first visit.  My 14 year old cousin, lived in Haverhill and his mother was a hard core vegetarian.  At least once a month, I’d get a call from him begging to come down to hang with me and the Missus because he’d had tofu four times already that week.  Friday night we’d hit the Hilltop and load him up with enough beef to make it through the next couple of weeks.  And, Saturday we’d go to Fenway and top off the steer with Italian sausage or fire up our grill.  He’s in Denver now and just turned 40 (Christ, I feel old), but we both had always hoped to get back to the Hilltop one day and enjoy some of their drinks until we couldn’t feel our feet and pound down enough beef to feed a Peruvian village for a month.  

    Very sad.

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