“If you would talk to Geno, he still refers to it as a clam shack,” laughed Greco.
Located next to the Coast Guard station, with outdoor seating during the summer, the establishment has benefited from Newburyport’s three decades of improvements. This has helped it draw in customers, both local and visiting, according to Gary, Greco’s stepson and general manager.
“It has just kind of evolved as more people moved North, they want the same things that were available to them closer to Boston,” said Gary. “They want a little bit of both, casual and fine. You can get all of that in this town.”
Consistency, Gary said, is what he strives for and what keeps his regular customer base coming.
“(The menu) has evolved a little bit but the main items are still the same,” said Gary. “Our house special is the shrimp and sirloin tips. That’s the signature item for us. It’s a good recipe for success here and it keeps working.”
Also featuring a pan-seared haddock, shrimp scampi over linguini, steaks and a prime rib on the weekends, both Grecos said that treating the help like a part of the family has also made things run smoothly.
“We have one (employee) who has been here since we started,” said Greco. “Another one’s parents worked here and then she came here as a bus girl, did some hosting and now she is one of our best waitresses. And in the summer, the students that work for us come back all the way through college.”
The Galley didn’t make a big deal of their 35th anniversary last winter but this year they will be rolling out the welcome mat with a complementary buffet and local singer, Lenny Pearl.
“We’ve always worked very hard at this restaurant,” said Gary. “So, I did think that we would always be here just for that simple fact that, you put your heart and soul into something and you work hard.”