Well-known eatery gets new owner


JP CENTER—The Galway House has a new owner who plans to spruce up the place, according to Ed Lanzillo, who was a part owner, but is now full owner of the restaurant and bar at 720 Centre St.

“I’ve been in Jamaica Plain for over 54 years,” said Lanzillo. “So I’ve been here through the whole neighborhood change. I’ve been at the Galway House for more than 24 years.”

Lanzillo has run the Galway and has worked as a chef. “I know the town. The place, it was kind of like handed down to me,” he said at a Jamaica Pond Association board meeting Jan. 8. [See related story.]

He said Bob DeFranco, the former owner, planned to hand the business down to his son or to Lanzillo. DeFranco’s son was not interested, Lanzillo said.

Lanzillo also said he has worked with his brother, who owns a bar in Providence. “I know the bar and restaurant business from top to bottom,” he said. “We’re not a trouble bar. We’ve never been a fighting bar.”

Lanzillo said he plans to clean and update the place. The Galway House has not been renovated since it opened over 45 years ago. “I’m going to bring it up to date,” he said.

He also said he plans to update and mature the wine list. A new cook has also been added to the staff.

“I’m not a rich guy, I’m a cook,” he said. “It’s going to be a restaurant. We have people coming back. I want to keep it a neighborhood place.”

Lanzillo said he has moved some of the pictures from the eating area and put them in the bar area. He said he wants to make it more of a family atmosphere.

“This is not a get-rich-quick scheme,” said Lanzillo. “I put my house on the line for this.”

Lanzillo appeared before the licensing board Dec. 13 but a decision was deferred until he met with neighborhood organizations.

The JPA voted 9-0-2 not to oppose the change within the corporation. Michael Reiskind abstained because he is the chair of the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council Public Service Committee (PSC) which Lanzillo appeared before Jan. 9. Franklyn Salimbene abstained because he was not present for the entire discussion. Neither objected to the change.

The JPNC PSC voted 3-0-1 not to oppose the transfer of The Galway Inc. license and change the manager from DeFranco to Lanzillo. Louise Johnson abstained because she entered the discussion late. There were no objections to the transfer.

Jan. 11 the licensing board granted the transfer of the 7-Day Common Victualler All-alcohol license from DeFranco to Lanzillo.

The Galway House is open 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. No food is served after 11 p.m.

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