Somerville Burger restaurant owner wants to open in Lynn by September


July 1, 2014
By Thor Jourgensen/The Daily Item

A Somerville restaurant owner wants to duplicate his self-described “burger heaven” by a converting a former downtown bar into an eatery by September.

“I’m going to put a lot of time into making it perfect,” said Richard F. Sullivan.

The Swampscott resident founded R.F. O’Sullivan and Son in 1991, and he was the sole responder earlier this month to a city request seeking proposals to revitalize 143 Central Ave., a former bar taken by the city in 2013 for property tax non-payment.

City councilors approved Sullivan’s bid last Tuesday night and Ward 4 Councilor Richard Colucci said the $119,500

cover of RF O'Sullivan's menu

Burger restaurant slated for Lynn

R.F. O’Sullivan’s menu details why the Somerville restaurant bills itself as “burger heaven.”

proposal Sullivan submitted exceeded the $110,000 minimum bid stipulated by the city.

Colucci described Sullivan’s Somerville restaurant as “a well-run establishment” and said he thinks Sullivan will move quickly to renovate the former site of Kevin’s and, previously, The Office, and open a new restaurant.

“I’m happy it all worked out,” he said.

Paperwork submitted to the city by Sullivan describes his Somerville restaurant as a “a pub-style establishment” serving entrees priced at roughly $10 with specials ranging from $10 to $15.

“My specialty is hamburgers. In Somerville, we serve 28 variations as well as salads, fries, potato skins, chicken tenders, onion rings, salsa, nachos and chili,” Sullivan wrote in his proposal.

He proposed business hours from 11 a.m. to midnight every day except Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving and said he plans to hire 15 employees with veteran workers at his Somerville restaurant overseeing the Lynn workforce.

In his proposal, Sullivan stated he plans to spend about $100,000 renovating 143-145 Central Ave. He lists John Paula of Nahant as his contractor and states he plans to renovate the building to seat 80 people.

He is proposing to offer full liquor service and states in his submission to the city that O’Sullivan’s has an “...unblemished record of 23 years of compliance with code and license requirements at the Somerville location…”

Sullivan’s proposal also outlines a plan to offer dining discounts to people attending shows at Veterans Memorial Auditorium, located a block away from 143 Central Ave.

Sullivan’s submission also includes rave endorsements, including one by Dave Andelman, who wrote on a Phantom Gourmet letterhead, “One of my all-time favorites is R.F. O’Sullivan’s.”

Council President Daniel Cahill said Sullivan’s plans represent an addition to successful efforts to open other restaurants downtown. Economic development director James Cowdell agreed.

“They have a great reputation, and it will bring people downtown,” he said.



Thor Jourgensen can be reached at

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