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Does Anyone Remember the General Glover House in Swampscott?

The General Glover House was the only restaurant I knew of named after a local Revolutionary War general (John Glover) born in Salem and raised in Marblehead. So, why was the restaurant located in Swampscott? Maybe it was a good "general" location. Sorry for the bad joke.

Anthony Athanas, of legendary Anthony's Pier 4 fame in Boston, opened the General Glover House in 1957 with the charming Essex Room at the forefront of the classic memories here. The Essex Room was definitely charming because they said so in the promotions. The huge room came across with its everything-but-the-kitchen-sink colonial stagecoach stop scenes including the big fireplace, post-and-beam ceilings and lanterns and copper pots all over the place. The waitresses were such good sports, having to dress up in those long colonial-style dresses and the goofy frilled white caps that concealed 60s and 70s hairstyles.

 As kids, we thought George Washington would walk in the room at any moment, especially at night where it was known that he couldn't sleep. How do I know this? Well, he couldn't lie. The General Glover House was good but not great, in my opinion. Down the road in Saugus, the Hilltop Steakhouse served better steaks, and the Continental better popovers. Plus, it was more fun trying to drive 90 MPH out of the parking lot at the Hilltop to try to break into the insane Route 1 southbound traffic.

I believe the General Glover House closed in the 1990s and its presence is definitely missed even if it wasn't my favorite North Shore restaurant. I miss most the really neat colonial theme (well there's a "Leave it to Beaver"-type phrase for you!) and the kind waitresses that were enough to make the dining experience worthwhile!


  1. I liked the General Glover House a lot. I was last there in the late 60s or early 70s. It's location was right on the M'head border, as well as the Salem border. Thanks for bringing back the memory of those frilly hats the waitresses wore :)

  2. I was one of the kind waitresses you refer to...thank you! I worked there in 1979 -1980, and supported myself while in college. There will never be anything quite like that concept, from the popovers and marinated mushroom vegetable platter to the table side caesar salad prep and dessert prep of Strawberries Romanoff. But those uniforms were a nightmare: we had to heavily start the collar, cuffs and apron to be as stiff as cardboard (we all used corn starch). Thanks for the memories!

  3. oh my goodness, a night out at General Glover House financed by the parents or kind aunt and uncle was the high point of any season. The popovers, the mushroom platters (all BEFORE your app and meal arrived) was mind blowing to a skinny kid who could eat like a truck driver. I am sure I downed a lobster or two afterwards and probably a stawberry romanoff for dessert. I did feel bad for the colonial girls who had to carry around a basket of popovers all night. Pretty boring. Thanks for those wonderful memories.

  4. I worked there from 72-75...I'm sorry to see it's now gone, but it was a gorgeous treasure of a historical building in it's day.

  5. Went there many times, usually to celebrate a wedding anniversary. I have their recipe for marinated mushrooms. I make them every Christmas!


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