Old Tyme Italian Cuisine was campaign central in this year’s Lynn city election with several candidates choosing the restaurant at 612 Boston Street for their political gatherings and fundraisers.
In fact, a few candidates simultaneously held their election night celebrations inside the popular restaurant and lounge.
Two years after opening the 240-seat restaurant, owner Bob Stilian isn’t standing still. He recently added a private function hall to accommodate the growing number of people who want to hold weddings, parties, and events inside the restaurant.
“We just had a wedding and a reception here,” said Stilian, whose function hall seats 55 persons. “People can enjoy hors d’oeuvres, a buffet, or a sit-down meal with waitress and bar service.”
Why the expansion?
“People were inquiring about holding events in a private function hall,” said Stilian. “We were having a lot of functions already. We host several post-funeral bereavement dinners here as well.”
The new function hall is one of three potential celebration sites inside the restaurant. There are also lounge and restaurant-area function rooms.
“Our new hall is completely private,” said Stilian. “But we’ll be using all of our three rooms for Christmas parties.”
Stilian, who is the assistant parking director for the City of Lynn, previously operated a restaurant, Jim and Bob’s, in Danvers in 1979. Two years ago, Stilian decided to return to the restaurant business.
“I actually did it because my brother [the late George Stilian, who passed away ten years ago) and I were always going to open up a lounge and restaurant,” said Stillian. “I took the lease ten years ago and started renovations. I opened the restaurant two years ago.”
Many of Stilian’s colleagues in city government frequent his restaurant. “They really like our food and atmosphere,” said Stilian, who cites chicken vinegar peppers as the most popular meal at the restaurant. “I try to make all my customers feel right at home.”
Stilian is awaiting the arrival of a brand new sign for the building. “The sign is going up in the next couple of weeks on Boston Street,” said Stilian.
The word is spreading about the excellent cuisine and friendly atmosphere at Old Tyme, its popularity boosted by a mention in a book, “Running in Lane One,” written by former Northeastern University President John Curry, a Lynn resident.
“The author writes in the book about Old Tyme having the best Italian food in the area,” said Stilian. “A lot of our customers mention that they read about us in Mr. Curry’s book.”