A Round On The House and A Toast
(Very sorry to JakeGoad and husband, who were just there at “Cheers”, last week as they got married)
The recession hits a well-known Boston institution, as long-time bartender Eddie Doyle has been let go.
Eddie Doyle has signed thousands of autographs, posed for just as many pictures, and has raised more than $1 million for Boston charities.
Although he never held public office, pitched at Fenway, or performed on local TV, Doyle is famous. He’s also among the newly unemployed.
For nearly 35 years, or almost half of his life, Doyle has been the smiling face behind the bar at Cheers – the Beacon Hill pub that inspired the TV show with the same name in the early 1980s. As one of Boston’s last fabled bartenders, he served drinks and advice for five decades. During that time, his charitable deeds became the stuff of legend.
Along the way he got to know thousands, introduced dozens of singles who would eventually marry, and held numerous fund-raisers that attracted everybody from the glitterati to the near-homeless.
But a few weeks ago he was told by Tom Kershaw, owner of the Cheers bar, that the recession had hit his industry and he was being laid off. Doyle, who is in his late 60s, said he’s surprised but not bitter.
“I’m a casualty of the economic situation that we’re in,” said Doyle, who spent part of this week cleaning out his office.
As word spread of his layoff, many people, such as former Boston mayor Raymond Flynn, said that the city has lost an institution.
“He’s as important as George Washington to this city; he’s that well known,” said Flynn. “The Cheers bar was internationally famous, but before it was internationally famous I think Eddie really brought them that notoriety and that attention. They say it’s a bar where everybody knows your name but it’s really a bar where everybody knows Eddie Doyle.”
So, a toast to those who are good, those who are hurting, and to:
As good a place as any to relate a toast my late sister and I devised in college. Raising a Guiness time:
Here’s to the men we love
Here’s to the men that love us
If the men we love, don’t love us
Then FUCK the men, and here’s to us!