James Hook – Hoping for the Phoenix to Rise
Living in the Leather District, we feel a little like James Hook was “ours.” It was our regular spot for lobster rolls, as well as one of our regular stops for clams, lobsters and whatever looked good from that day’s catch.
It’s one of those places that makes Boston feel like a liveable city. Regular people there, nothing fancy. When I wanted to learn how to properly shuck an oyster, there was no question where I’d go. Seeing as I was asking them a favor, I made the request first. I asked when would be least inconvenient for them. They told me basically any time I wanted. I wanted them to know I understood the business a little and really, truly, didn’t want to inconvenience them. They finally gave me a window. I went. I got to go in the back for a private lesson. I wrote about it here, in The Big O.
The Hook staff couldn’t have been nicer and more accommodating. “How about clams?” “Sure!”
When I saw the news of the fire, I was out of town. I heard one of the Hook siblings talking about the photos of their grandfather and the other old-timers who started the business that are gone now. The business has been in the family since the 1920’s. Six of the Hook siblings still work in and run it. It has that feel when you walk in the store. I feel as if I’ve lost a favorite neighbor and one that was both important and kind enough to make me feel included. (Much like the hardware store on High St. – what a nice guy…)
This fire is a loss in so many ways, and I can’t help but think of the catastrophic losses of people in New Orleans and other places. I know what I feel looking at the burnt remainders of “my” spot, is something that can help me understand the sense of overwhelming loss others feel in places like New Orleans.
Share your James Hook stories – and here are some photos (one before, the rest, after)
Here is the iconic lobster weathervane.
We wish the best for the Hook family and business.