Even though it closed in 1984 when I was four years old, I still have memories of Paragon Park. After the amusement park shut down, my father still brought my brothers and I to Nantasket to play video games at the boardwalk arcade and maybe grab a bite to eat at The Red Parrot.
The boardwalk was badly in need of a makeover back in the eighties. Now, thanks to new owners Chris and Diana Reale, it's finally getting it!
According to Boston Magazine, the couple purchased the block-long, 55,000 square foot amusement center in November 2017 hoping to restore some of the nostalgia as well as modernize the space with new businesses.
To start, the food choices along the boardwalk are much more tasty and varied than the greasy fried dough and boring soft serve of the past. Chef Douglas Rodrigues of Boston's Clio, Liquid Art House and North Square Oyster is the the new consulting chef, and he has created a menu featuring fresh, local fare.
Menu items will include seafood sourced from Mullaney’s Harborside Fish Market in Scituate, crispy fish tacos, griddled burgers and hot dogs, butternut-crunch-coated deep-fried turkey legs, and Mexican-style street corn.
That boring soft serve will be replaced with Nona’s Homemade Ice Cream and cotton candy in a variety of flavors such as white peach, pink lemonade, and root beer float, created by Chef Rodrigues.
Additional changes include a pending liquor license that will allow craft beers and cocktails to be sold along the boardwalk, special events like beachside pig roasts and a pop-up oyster bar, and revamped aesthetics courtesy of graffiti artist Brand Rockwell.
As for the nostalgia, a few remembrances from the old boardwalk will remain, including mini golf, a carousel, and a redesigned Paragon Arcade with new (but old-school) games.
I think even diehard South Shore locals like myself can admit these changes are for the better! But if you are looking for a little bit of nostalgia you can buy our Paragon Park Tee here!