This Is Framingham

This Is Framingham
Life in the 'ham

The Happy Swallow

September 8th, 2006

When I was age 4 through 9 my uncle and father owned an auto part store right at the corner of 126 and 135.  My sister and I would hang out there all the time and noticed “The Happy Swallow” one storefront away and wondered what it was. I remember I couldn’t even read yet but there was a bird on the sign with a martini glass, I didn’t even know what a martini glass was but I thought since it had a bird on there it must be a good place.
They have since replaced the martini glass with a beer mug on their new sign and I finally went to go check it out.

I gave Ethan the night off and dragged my friend Mike to go with me.
It was just what I thought it would be like: old, somewhat dingy and in a weird way “homey”. 
Mike and I went up to the bar and got a couple of beers and I asked the bartender if we should order though him if we want something to eat.  He said to hold on a sec and went over to the kitchen and asked the guy in there “What are we doing about food?” he came back and said someone would be over in a few minutes so we sat down and checked out the menu posted above the pick-up window.

5 minutes later an older man comes over to our table and asks “You wanted some food?” and we ordered a couple of burgers.  Then Mike saw lettuce and tomato was 50¢ extra and we hadn’t asked for it but wanted it so he went back up to the window to ask for the kitchen guy to add that and the guy said “oh, you could have told me that before- that’s ok, that’s ok” Which was kind of funny since he hadn’t even started making anything yet.
I thought it was interesting that there are no stools at the bar, people just stand.  There are stools at the tall tables but they aren’t bolted down like adamg described, perhaps in their wilder days though.

There was some guy sitting at a booth by the door and played some song on the jukebox (I can’t remember) and as he was walking back to his seat the song started playing and everyone at the bar started yelling at him really loud (some with thick Boston accents): “FRANK!  FRANK!  GO HOME! GET OUTTA HEAH FRANK!”
They were laughing like it was an old joke or maybe he notoriously plays bad songs but Frank just ignored this and just shuffled back to his booth.

When our burgers were ready the kitchen guy yelled “Cheeseburger Hambuger!” and we went up to the window to get them.  When I was paying the kitchen guy looked at me and said “Were you in here last week?” and I said “No, I’ve never been in here before” and he said “Because you look just like someone that was in here last week” and I said “Yeah I get that a lot, I think I just look like a lot of people so people always think they’ve seen me before” He squinted at me like he was inspecting my face and said “Yeah I guess so- ok, enjoy.”
The burgers were pretty good, I guess were expecting the worst but I think they really were pretty good.

Mike went to the bathroom and took a picture because he was weirded out by the urinal that reached the floor.
While Mike was in the bathroom, the kitchen guy was leaving for the night and walked by the bar where the bartender yelled out “Have a good one Fred” (or Red or Ted).  When he walked by my table he stopped to look at me and said “Goodnight, girl”gave a little smile and walked out the side door.
By the end of the night we decided that this is a good place to go to. I don’t know if we happened to go on a quiet night but we really enjoyed it and no one got beaten up like thought we would : )

P.S. They also have live music on the weekends, I’m curious to see where they fit the musicians.


  1. My friend’s blue’s band plays there about every other month and it can get pretty lively. Not I can’t lift my arms to scratch my nose lively, but a good, not too crouded, party atmosphere type of lively. The cheap beer prices do attract some interesting characters, but I have never run into any trouble the 3 times I have gone there. If anyone is interested, Clay Brown and the Black Cat Bone Band will be playing there on September 16th.

    Comment by Don September 8, 2006 @ 4:30 pm

  2. FRANK ROCKS! I don’t really know him, but I’m pretty sure he ROCKS.

    Comment by Paul Jasper September 9, 2006 @ 1:03 am

  3. That urinal that reaches all the way to the floor could probably be sold on Ebay for some good $.

    Comment by Rich September 9, 2006 @ 10:25 pm

  4. haha, you’re adventurous. Corner of 135 and 126, then?

    Comment by h. capet September 22, 2006 @ 6:02 pm

  5. I can’t believe anyone actually ate at the swallow. I have been going off and on for 5 years and have never, ever seen anyone eat anything in that place.

    Great place though.

    Comment by Stan November 15, 2006 @ 7:58 pm

  6. The Zydetones are playing at the Happy Swallow this Friday Night. We play Zydeco, Roots music, and New Orleans R & B
    -Fun, uptempo dance music – Think Mardi Gras music, with Accordian, Scrub Board and beads!
    The Red Sox are off, so we hope to see you there!

    Comment by Aaron Schindler October 24, 2007 @ 4:02 pm

  7. The Happy Swallow rules, alot of the people there are my second family. Want some good laughs and some good food, go to the Swallow…….peace

    Comment by Allison October 30, 2008 @ 12:22 pm

  8. That “old guy” is named George and he’s a great piece of history .I wish his name was corrected sooner

    Comment by Don March 16, 2013 @ 3:50 pm

  9. I was just telling my friend about that.

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