Quincy’s Anonymous ‘Bar Pizza Bandit’ Donates Pizza To Local First Responders

EMTs from Brewster Ambulance in Quincy were the most recent beneficiaries of the bar pizza bandit’s generosity.

By KERRY BYRNE

Quincy’s mysterious “bar pizza bandit” has become one of the community’s most beloved charitable figures during the battle against Covid-19.

Her anonymous and generous donations to local first responders over the past two weeks have generated thousands of likes, comments and shares on social media — not to mention the appreciation of the brave folks on the front lines of the fight.

Three times in the last two weeks, the unknown woman wearing a black hoodie and ballcap has walked into Rag’s Tavern, a popular bar-pizza hotspot in Quincy, and ordered $200 in pizza.

The first order two weeks ago went to the Quincy Police Department; the second order last Monday went to the Quincy Fire Department, shared among three different firehouses; and she walked in again Friday, asking that the pizza be delivered to local EMTs at Brewster Ambulance.

That’s a total of $600 worth of pizza in just two weeks – or approximately 75 10-inch South Shore-style bar pizzas delivered to local first responders, each one carefully wrapped in the pizza style’s signature brown paper take-out bags.

The bar pizza bandit works quickly, said Rags Tavern manager Courtney Rego. The woman calls ahead or just walks in, makes the order, drops $200 in cash on the bar, then quietly walks out the door – the bandit’s identity unknown even to Rego.

“I’ve seen her in here before, but I don’t know who she is,” said Rego. “Either way, we’re happy to be a part of her effort to feed local first responders and delighted to know that there are so many great people out there working to help our neighbors on the front lines of the battle against Coronavirus.”

The bar pizza bandit’s generosity benefits the tavern, too: providing much-needed business in this unprecedented time for the restaurant industry and helping keep folks like Rego and her colleagues employed.

Will the bar pizza bandit strike again? Rego’s not sure. But happy to help if and when she does.

Quincy’s anonymous “bar pizza bandit” has donated $600 in pizza over the past two weeks to local first responders, including Quincy firefighters Derek Monroe, left, and Jay Toner. Courtesy Photos

Tokenfire Restaurant Opens In Quincy Center

Tokenfire Restaurant will open at 35 Washington St., Quincy Center this week. Photo Courtesy Kerry Byrne

By KERRY BYRNE

Tokenfire is slated to open this week in the heart of Quincy Center, the latest in a long list of recent restaurant openings that have dramatically reshaped the dining scene in this historic, bustling and rapidly gentrifying urban enclave.

The eatery plans to open to the public on Friday, Dec. 27 at 35 Washington St., steps from Quincy Center T on the MBTA Red Line and commuter rail and within a block of many of the neighborhood’s most notable restaurants, including The Townshend, Idle Hour, Fuji at WOC and Alba Prime Steak + Seafood.

The intimate gastropub will feature globally inspired fare amid a warm inviting Irish pub atmosphere.

“We want to create a community that celebrates Irish roots but offers a global take on modern Irish cuisine,” said principal owner Breda O’Connor.

The vision for Tokenfire was inspired by Noel O’Connor, Breda’s nephew, who worked at many of Boston’s most notable dining destinations, including Kingfish Hall and Boston Rocks in Faneuil Hall.

Noel was a first-generation Irish-American who grew up in Milton with parents who hailed from County Kerry and County Mayo. He died suddenly and tragically in January 2016, hours after finishing a bar shift at neighboring eatery the Townshend, and a year after being inspired to open Tokenfire.

“I’m excited to bring my nephew Noel’s vision to life,” said Breda O’Connor. “Many the day I heard Noel say I want to open a bar and a restaurant and I want to call it Tokenfire. This is a deeply personal project for me and for Noel’s friends and family.”

The Tokenfire kitchen will be managed by executive chef Nicola Battistacci. He’s a native of Italy who worked at upscale eateries in his homeland before moving to South America and then to Boston, where his resume includes stays at South End hotspot Cinquecento and Corfinio Wood Fired Grill in Easton.

The opening menu will pair bright Mediterranean and South American flavors with heartier traditional Irish, American and pan-European classics. Among the highlights of the global menu:

  • Rainbow cauliflower with Calabrian chili oil
  • Local mussels with ‘nduja sauce, red onions and toasted bread
  • Spanish octopus with crispy potatoes, smoked paprika and chipotle aioli
  • Traditional Irish Shepherd’s pie with braised lamb and mashed potatoes
  • Faroe Island salmon with farro salad, roasted butternut squash, kale and dried cranberries

The menu will also include a creative variety of flatbreads, burgers and salads.

The décor reflects Tokenfire’s rustic-and-contemporary vibe. The eatery features images of the Irish countryside alongside clean, contemporary white-tiled walls.

Guests will dine amid comfort lighting and soothing music, surrounded by earth-tone knotty pine tables from a 400-year-old tree, crafted by Irish-American artist Vincent Crotty.

Twenty draft beers await, ranging from Irish-brewed classics, such as Guinness and Smithwick’s, to the latest local craft beers. Tokenfire will also offer fine wines, cocktails and spirits.

Granite shelving, reflecting Quincy’s history as one of America’s great quarrying communities, sit beneath the large store-front windows that overlook the Richardsonian National Historic Landmark Thomas Crane Public Library and its verdant Olmstead-designed lawn right across the street.

Tokenfire will seat 55 in its dining room and 20 at the bar. It will be open each day from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m., pending final occupancy approval from the City of Quincy.

Kevin Wool Manager South Street Gallery

Jack Hobbs, president and founder of South Street Gallery, announces Kevin Wool of Quincy has been named South Street Gallery’s new manager.

Kevin Wool

“Kevin is the perfect fit for this role,” said Hobbs, who added, “He knows the framing side of the business inside out.  In his previous work, he visited literally every art gallery in New England. He knows the artists, he knows the owners, he knows current and emerging art trends, and he has met and worked with hundreds of artists. We couldn’t be more pleased to have him join our Gallery!”

Wool is working with Hobbs to further the Gallery’s mission of discovering and promoting new artists, while continuing to expand the Gallery’s framing business.

He spent a dozen years in the picture framing industry, as a representative for several framing and moulding companies which serve frame shop and gallery owners throughout the region. This gave him in-the-field experience working directly with hundreds of gallery owners and picture framing shops, consulting on their framing supply needs. His work resume includes Décor Moulding & Supply, Studio Moulding and Don Mar Moulding. He also represented the companies at various trade shows and also presented product lines at the New England Professional Picture Framers Association yearly convention.

Wool also spent 14 years with Boston Photo Imaging, working with clients in the healthcare, higher education, advertising and financial industries.

“South Street Gallery is a great place to be,” Wool said, adding, “I enjoy working with artists and individuals who need framing assistance, so that their work can be showcased in the best possible light. We are planning many exciting new innovations at the Gallery and we invite everyone to come by, say hello, and see what we’re doing.”

The South Boston native is an avid runner in his leisure time; he has run several marathons, several half marathons and a number of shorter races including 10K and 5K. He is married and the father of a daughter, who just became a registered nurse.