I was sad to read in this morning's Globe of the death of Nick Contos, the owner of the No Name.
I first learned of the No Name during the summer of 1965 when I stumbled across in the Boston Globe an interesting piece on a Harvard MBA who, curiously, with his parents ran a very small restaurant on Fish Pier. Back then, the No Name was open only during the week and didn't serve dinner as they catered almost exclusively to people who worked on the pier.
One Friday, some friends and I left work early and rushed off to Fish Pier to get to the No Name before they closed. We loved the place, the food and the people who ran it. We quickly became Friday regulars at the No Name, and because we always showed up just before closing, Nick would invariably serve us (at no charge) lots of things from the kitchen that would otherwise be thrown out. Although I always enjoyed the No Name's fish and chowder, I especially loved their home-made pies, which, I believe, were baked by Nick's mother and father. (I remember once eating three pieces of their fresh strawberry pie).
Back then, we were all in our early twenties, working at our first jobs, and struggling to make ends meet. Being able to eat well, and for under four dollars, was a godsend. But beyond the food, we appreciated the unique atmosphere of the No Name, and valued our friendship with Nick, his family and employees.
Sure, restaurant options and what one looks for when eating out have changed markedly since we first discovered the No Name, as have our tastes. But still, over these many years, we've always gone back to the No Name from time to time to enjoy their simply prepared and always fresh fish and chowder,and, very importantly, to visit again with Nick.
So tonight, my wife and I will again head to the No Name for some chowder, broiled sole, and to fondly remember Nick Contos.
Rest in Peace, Nick. Rest in Peace.