2 min readBy Published On: February 16th, 2013Categories: Features13 Comments on Sully’s

Written by Mike Neff

It’s easy to be No. 1 when there is no competition in town.  But it’s time for Sullys to step up their game when they re-open soon. I imagine that the addition of year-round competitor Tasty Burger at L & Broadway has certainly bit into their profits a bit.  No, I’m not suggesting Sullys stay open 365 days a year (even though that’d be awesome). Rather, Sullys should consider what its competition has to offer and mimic it to enhance their business model.

The amount of toppings available at Tasty Burger quickly overpowers even the most cheesy, double cheeseburger offered down the Island.
Sullys, I have one word for you: BACON. 

I’d eat shit if it were bacon-wrapped. Add 50 cents on to the price of a regular cheeseburger and give me some delicious bacon on there. And how about pickles? Or barbecue sauce?
And you can’t charge 15 cents for tomato. That’s crazy. We live in Southie, not some third-world country. Tomato is a standard topping at L & Broadway.

Another tomato-related dilemma I have is those little shooter paper cups you give me for the ketchup. Am I supposed to fill up 15 of those? Upgrade the size a bit, thank you.
As I think of ketchup, I consider your fries quite possibly the best thing you’ve got going – when cooked right. If you’re from Southie, you know you get those things “welly.” Cook them a little longer. I don’t like soggy potatoes for fries. Tasty Burger has a solid crunch on them, not that hard to do the same.

Certainly we can’t overhaul your business, and certainly you’ll be popular regardless. But as you close this season, Sullys, consider the competition that will stay open. Take a stroll down and see how they do things. It will benefit us both in the long run.

New items? If I see “Bacon Cheeseburger” on that menu come Feb. 23, I don’t even know what I’ll do.

A joke I made in my Actual Southie Rules column is gaining some traction. Although somewhat unrealistic, a winter drive-thru at Sullys would have cars backed up to the rink. You have some space there to pave the area for a winter-only drive thru.  My other suggestions are a little more realistic, and even if they aren’t implemented, you’ll still see me down there opening weekend.


  1. Jack O'Neill February 16, 2013 at 8:00 pm

    Sullivan’s is an institution that only South Boston has.  Why mess with success.  If you want a Tasty Burger, go to Tasty Burger.  Sullivan’s is unique in a fast food economy.  I remember going into Sullivan’s with one woman on the cash register, who never wrote down your order or used the register to add up to the total.  That part of Sullivans has changed, but the food and it’s quality have remained steadfast through the years.  It is a seasonal institution and should remain as such.




  2. Fancypants February 16, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    I don’t even care if I’m charged for them.

  3. KC February 16, 2013 at 8:40 pm
    Really! I am looking forward to Sully’s 4oz burger next week… if I wanted to sit down for a ‘8oz burger’for $20 I would be down ‘waterfront’
  4. Steven February 16, 2013 at 9:14 pm
    Gee I hope Mr. Lane reads this column. After decades of a massively successful business plan, I think it’s time to change the whole approach….. ‘welly’? Never heard that term in regard to Sully’s fries.
  5. Anonymous February 17, 2013 at 8:34 pm
    Love it even more with pickles!
  6. Anonymous February 17, 2013 at 8:38 pm

    Are you kidding or are you serious? There is no comparison between Sully’s and Tsty Burger. Sully’s will always be #1 for the food and atmosphere. You want bacon on your burger? Go to Burger King on D Street.

    Like the Yuppies who are disappointed they can’t get sauerkraut on their dogs, this is Southie not Brooklyn.

  7. Anonymous February 17, 2013 at 10:56 pm

    Hey, Mike Neff, were you actually born and raised in Southie?  Sully’s is fine the way it is and has been since the 50s…and it is laughable to think Tasty Burger will bite into any profits…although they will always get the business of the drunken yuppies from the Beer Garden…they can have them.

  8. Stephen McGinn February 17, 2013 at 11:15 pm

    The old adage, if it aint broke don’t fix it, would apply here.  Sully’s is fine just the way it has been since the 50s.  My first inclination was to ask if you were even born and raised here, but rereading your article tells me you are just trying for a laugh.  I googled your website and was impressed with your local work with the combined Gatey/St. Brigid’s parish…I’ll ask my friend Tricia about you.  We hate having our noses tweaked about our longtime institutions…pondering whether Tasty Burger would cut into Sully’s profits was hysterical…but keep up the funny stuff you write for Caught In Southie and good luck with your journalism career, and say hi to Mel’s daughter, Elise, for all of us.

  9. lbod February 18, 2013 at 12:10 am

    Sully’s doesn’t have to change a thing. If you want tasty burger, go for it…there’ll be one more spot up the Island.

  10. Anonymous February 18, 2013 at 4:41 am

    Please, don’t change a thing..  I love you just the way you are.  Good food, good prices,  fast service.  Perfect!  If you want Tasty Burger, go to Tasty Burger.

  11. Lenny February 20, 2013 at 1:33 am

    This dude looooooves bacon, huh? I like bacon as much as the next guy, but call me crazy if I think that Sully’s won’t go under without it. If it aint broke dont fix it. As much as Southie is not a third-world country, Sully’s is not Tasty Burger, Wendy’s, or the 99. It’s a unique South Boston landmark. It’d be a crying shame for them to step out of character just because Tasty Burger is down the street and someone didn’t get a couple slices of bacon on their double cheeseburger.

  12. Southie February 22, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    nothing should be changed about Sully’s, if you don’t like the way it is I suggest you just keep your mouth shut!!!

  13. U KIDDIN' ME??? March 26, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    Change Sully’s? BLASPHEMY!!  If I don’t start my season with at least 1 dog, it just ain’t gonna happen!  The choice is there and it’s completely up to you, but as for me I w/b in that L-O-N-G line waiting to put my cash in Sully’s till and sink my teeth in to a dog (or two) with the works!!

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