Charlie's Sandwich Shoppe worker remarks on closing - 7News Boston WHDH-TV

Charlie's Sandwich Shoppe worker remarks on closing

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BOSTON (WHDH) - After decades of serving customers, Charlie's Sandwich Shoppe in the South End will close, but not before leaving a lasting impact on the area.

"It's really been like a home. This is where I spend most of my time and we know all the customers," said Arthur Manjourides, who's been behind the counter for 73 years, looking out the front window since he was 12 years old.

When Charlie's opened its doors in 1927, Manjourides' 17-year-old father started off as a cook. It was during the era of segregation, but that wasn't the case at Charlie's, which was known as a place for everyone.

"Especially the black entertainers like Duke Ellington and the band, they would play in different places in Boston and they couldn't eat at the hotels so they'd come in here and eat," Manjourides remembers.

Through 87 years, the South End institution saw the neighborhood change from the rough section of town to the coveted one. Though the walls can't talk, they would shed light to the luminaries who shared these seats like entertainers from Sammy Davis Jr. to Mark Wahlberg, politicians like former mayor Tom Menino, Vice President Gore and most recently President Obama. The place also counted numerous athletes as regulars.

"You'd never know who you're sitting next to. It could be a banker, president, or a guy working on the airlines or a sports figure," Manjourides said.

However, in July the restaurant will close for good. Manjourides said that with the next generation grown and with successful careers, it's time to close.

From the lucky dice embedded in the door to the ice box they bought used in 1927 to the hundreds of pieces of memorabilia and pictures inside of Charlie's, the family will have to figure out exactly what will happen to it all once they finally close the doors.

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