Buzzy’s Roast Beef

Scott Seamon SMG ’96

It seems like just yesterday I was writing an editorial for BU’s Daily Free Press about this place… It was published Senior year (Fall 95 or Spring of 96), the day after I learned that Buzzy’s would be closing its doors. To be published by the Freep was such an honor, but I only which that I could be opining on some happy news. This is a follow-up to that article. They took away Buzzy’s then (allegedly for failure to pay taxes), only to re-open 3 years later. Now they have taken it away again, this time forever. Mass General has decided to purchase the land that Buzzy’s used to stand on for $2.75 million. It will become a small park midway between a hotel entrance and the doors to Mass. General’s new outpatient building. A park… just what Boston needs. I suppose that the Boston Common and Public Gardens (the longest park in the country) is not enough. Whats the big deal with the space anyway? It is barely bigger than my old Back Bay studio apartment. The ironic thing is that Mass General probably used money it “earned” in its cardiac care unit which can be ultimately attributed to fast-food places like Buzzy’s, if not directly attributed to Buzzy’s itself. If you are looking for a place to eat this Friday, after a night long binge at T’s pub watching BU play Cincinatti in the NCAA tournament, you can forget about hopping into a cab and heading to Buzzy’s… it is gone.. and I don’t think that the cafeteria at Mass General can compare.

As I was putting this email together, a tear came to my eye, as I looked through the list of names that I would select from my Address Book. I would be sending this email to many friends, near and far, bringing the news that Buzzy’s Roast Beef was no longer….. again. Some of you are people that I went to Buzzy’s with this year… Some of you haven’t been back in years. Most of you have Buzzy’s stories. Today, you are in New York or Boston, Detroit or Chicago or in a foreign country, yet it seems as though I can picture vividly almost all of you at Buzzy’s at least once with me. Don’t ask me when your birthday is, but I do remember being at Buzzy’s with you.. I really do..

If it was your first time there, you probably put up with the full story of me yapping about what Buzzy’s was to me in college…while in your mind, as you waited for your order while not paying attention to me, you thought the food would be greasy garbage and that you would be at the gym the next day working it off. Yet, by the time you left the place, you were a converted Buzzy’s fan for life. You didn’t even need to eat the food to feel that.. An hour spent people-watching at Buzzy’s was more enjoyable and educational than any class on sociology you would ever take. There is not a single place in Boston that you get to see a true cross-section of the city’s population..Definitely not in the financial district or in Brookline, or at the Palace in Revere.. but in the shadows of Mass General on a Saturday Night, you can meet “anyman”. You will meet the truck driver from the North Shore, the the naïve jacketless college freshman on her way back from the Alley or even the newly minted young corporate lawyer on his way home from the Beacon Hill Buzzy’s you could meet almost anyone… At this place, however, no one needed to know your name.. you were all family.

Just reminiscing about the old days, I hope you remember the times I forced you to eat greasy fries and onion rings… or when I ran into you there after not seeing you in a while, not even realizing you had been living in Boston for the past 5 years after graduation.. Do you remember when I picked up sandwiches and then drove 1 hour to your house for an evening snack? Or maybe you remember the time that I left you there searching for a cab after devouring a cheesesteak and needing to find a bathroom.. Everyone has a Buzzy’s story. Maybe you were one of the many people piled into my Dodge Daytona freshman year who headed down for a roast beef during a fire drill.. Maybe you only know Buzzy’s as the little shack under the bridge to Cambridge. Maybe.. just maybe, you and I have not shared a Buzzy’s story together… Maybe you made your way there by yourself.. or, as I hate to think about it…. maybe you never went there at all… In that case, you have missed out, in a great way…

Buzzy’s in Boston is a tradition.. like the New York vs. Boston rivalry. No Buzzy’s in Boston is like no baseball or football at BU.. No, it’s worse. No Buzzy’s in Boston is like….. like a deep emptyness that is unexplainable. No Buzzy’s in Boston means….. that it is time for me to move out of Boston, like I did in 1996 when they closed for the first time. Borrowing a famous song from the Standells, I end with this….”I love that greasy sandwich….. Buzzy’s is my home”.

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