Mobsters and Lobsters – News
One-of-a-kind trolley tour of Boston’s historic underworld, followed by lobster feast & fine wine tasting.
PatriotLedger.com Feature: Weymouth resident leads Mobsters & Lobsters trolley tour
Mobsters and Lobsters’ Tom Collins was featured in a great article this past weekend, written by Christian Schiavone of The Patriot Ledger. Along with the article are two videos of Tom in action aboard the Mobsters and Lobsters trolly. Check it out: Weymouth resident leads Mobsters & Lobsters trolley tour.
By Christian Schiavone
The Patriot Ledger
BOSTON — Tom Collins might have been on stage instead of behind the wheel of a trolley rolling through the narrow streets of Boston.
The South Boston native and Weymouth resident was regaling a crowd of businessmen and businesswomen from out of state with stories of the city’s underworld past during a recent tour, pointing out the sites of gristly gangland slayings, a jewel heist and the dark bars where reputed mobster James “Whitey” Bulger hung out.
For out-of-towners on the Mobsters & Lobsters tour, Collins’ thick Southie accent, scally cap and the trademark fat cigar set in his wide grin are as much a part of the experience as the underworld landmarks along the route.
“I was in my glory out there,” Collins said in an interview after a recent tour. “I’m what makes the tour what it is, with the accent and the demeanor. I guess you could say I’m an entertainer.”
A union ironworker by day, Collins, 46, has been giving the tours for Mobsters & Lobsters for the past three years. The tour ends with a lobster dinner at Venezia in Dorchester.
So far, he’s the only driver who gives the tours, which are offered from May to December.
The subject matter is dark, but the mood aboard the trolley is always light, with Collins dropping one-liners and bantering with the passengers between stops.
At a long light on Cambridge Street during a recent tour, he turned to a tourist from Brooklyn.
“I don’t wanna be rude, but you talk wicked funny,” he quipped, sending the crowd into fits of laughter.
Collins started giving historical trolley tours in Boston several years ago, when ironwork jobs became scarce because of the faltering economy. That eventually led to him working for Mobsters & Lobsters.
Collins moved to East Weymouth about three months ago, after living in Quincy for 15 years.
Having grown up in Southie, Collins was already familiar with some of the stops on the tour, including Triple O’s bar and the liquor store by the rotary on Old Colony Avenue, both of which were run by Bulger.
For others, including former Mafia hangouts in the North End and the site of one of the Boston Strangler murders on Charles Street, he did research and wrote up his own script for the tour.
Collins has already given more than a dozen tours this year, compared to just three in the first year. He says much of the increased interest is due to coverage of Bulger’s trial. On Monday, Bulger was convicted in 11 killings, at the end of a two-month trial.
“With the whole ‘Whitey’ Bulger thing, everybody wants to hear about mobsters,” Collins said. “It’s that whole appeal of the underground and the dark side.”
Most often, the tours are bought out for corporate charters.
Collins isn’t sure whether the interest will keep building, but he plans to keep doing the tours as long as people keep signing up.
“I don’t know where it’s going to go,” he said, “but I’m enjoying the ride.”
Reach Christian Schiavone at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @CSchiavo_Ledger.
Tom Collins introduces the Mobsters & Lobsters tour
Tom Collins talks about growing up in Southie, Whitey Bulger
BostonHerald.com Feature: Mobsters & Lobsters: the Boston crime, wine and dinner tour
Another cool feature, this time from BostonHearld.com. Check it out:
Wednesday, July 31, 2013
By: Kerry J. Byrne
The Boston waterfront is famed for seafood and for seedy gangland crime. In fact, the Whitey Bulger trial is unfolding right now at the waterfront Joe Moakley Courthouse.
Those two seemingly disparate worlds come together in the “Mobsters and Lobsters” trolley tour, dubbed “the tour you can’t refuse.”
It visits “Boston’s historic heists, mobster hideaways and hangouts, including locales frequented by Whitey and other members of the Winter Hill gang,” according the tour’s press release. “Guests will hear tales of thievery and scams, mayhem and cover-ups, and untimely demises. The tour concludes with a wine tasting at Boston’s only winery – and New England lobster dinner – with the option of a fine Italian meal.”
A portion of the tour benefits the Dorchester Youth Collaborative.
The next tour is tonight. But it’s already sold out. If interested in future tours, or to schedule your own group tour, call 617-274-4715, email [email protected], or visit www.mobstersandlobsters.com.
Here are the details from Mobsters and Lobsters:
WHERE: Trolley departs from the Waterfront on Atlantic Ave in front of the Marriott Long Wharf Hotel and visits historic sites throughout the city, including: Lancaster Street garage, Parker House, Triple Os Bar, Rotary Liquors, and more.
The tour concludes with a wine tasting at the Boston Winery and then dinner at Venezia Waterfront Restaurant, both located at 20 Ericsson Street, Boston
WHO: Tom Collins, South Boston native who grew up in the D Street Projects and East 6th Street during the Whitey prime-time era– driver and tour guide
WHY: As Whitey’s name plasters headlines nationwide, this one-of-a-kind tour will focus on destinations of Whitey’s intriguing, sinister past. The tour reveals the city’s unique intermingling of mobsters, law enforcement and politicians.
BostInno Feature: Wine, Whitey and the Tour You Can’t Refuse
Wine, Whitey and the Tour You Can’t Refuse: The Mobsters & Lobsters Trolley Tour
When traveling, I try my hardest to take a Anthony Bourdain approach rather than a Guy Fieri. That is, I avoid the tourist traps and, as ironically trite as the idiom’s become, take the road less traveled. I hold myself to a strict no-chain-restaurants rule, and I prefer my feet to any brightly colored behemoth trudging along Beacon St. barking out facts about the Statehouse’s dome.
This fall marks two years I’ve lived in this beautiful city. That’s two years without a single minute spent on a duck boat or trolley.
And then, I was offered tickets for Mobsters & Lobsters.
Mobsters & Lobsters is a “one-of-a-kind trolley tour of Boston’s smoky underworld history,” placing a spotlight on Boston’s “historic heists, mobster hideaways and hangouts, including locales frequented by Whitey [Bulger] and other members of the Winter Hill gang.”
The trolley departs from the Waterfront on Atlantic Ave., in front of the Marriott Long Wharf Hotel. From there, it snakes through the North End and Downtown, visiting Bulger’s old hideout at the Lancaster St. garage and the Parker House.
The tour’s driver is Tom Collins, a South Boston native who grew up in the D Street Projects and E. 6th St. during Whitey Bulger’s heyday. In addition to providing the tour with an encyclopedic knowledge of the subject, Collins has worked on several movies filmed in Boston, including Shutter Island and Night and Day.
From there, the tour heads into Southie and concludes in Dorchester with a tasting at the gorgeous Boston Winery (makers of Shawn Thornton’s Merlot Line Merlot) and a dinner at the Venezia Waterfront Restaurant, featuring a spectacular view of the water and, you guessed it, lobster.
The tour runs from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., from May to December. Charters are available upon request. Tickets for the tour and dinner are $89 each, $99 including the winery tour. Tickets for the tour only are $50. A portion of the proceeds benefit the Dorchester Youth Collaborative.
I must say, I’m glad I broke my rule.