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Waterfront Business Owner Opens Pillory Pub

The owners of the 94-year-old John Alden Gift Shop opens a new bar.

“Hi, I’d like to speak with the owner.”

“Laurie. She’s in the gift shop next store.”

“Hi, I’d like to speak with Laurie.”

“Oh, I think she in the gift shop on the other side of Pebbles.”

“Hi, are you Laurie?”

“I am.”

“You own all these stores?”

“With my father and brother, yes.”

Those tourist gift shops across from Mayflower II? One family owns all three.

Jack Parsons and his daughter, Laurie Gibbs, have owned and operated Mayflower General Store, the John Alden Gift Shop and the Town Crier for years.

“The Mayflower General Store has food and is a little more upscale,” Laurie said. “The Town Crier has things like the hermit crabs and kids clothing. The John Alden has the widest variety.”

The John Alden is the oldest. It had a likeness, head and shoulders, of the Pilgrim until it became a regular target of freak night and Jack removed it.

Meanwhile, Ben Parsons, Laurie’s brother, tended bar in Florida until he couldn’t bear another summer there. Jack and Laurie made room for him in one half of the Mayflower General Store. After major renovation over the winter and spring, it opened this month as The Pillory Pub.

Why The Pillory?

“I wanted to have something historical,” Ben said. “John Alden was already taken.”

An imitation pillory stands in the lobby, ready for photographs. Pillories were used as a form of punishment invovling public humiliation, similar to stocks, by Europeans until the 19th century.

Jack had retired. But, after 17 years, it didn’t take.

“It was on my dad’s bucket list to start a bar,” Ben said. “He wanted to get back to work. I knew bartending, we had the property.”

In addition to a full bar and daily drink specials, The Pillory serves light food fare. The wall facing the waterfront opens completely.

“You can’t beat the view down here,” Ben said. “We’re the only bar between Isaac’s and the marina.”

“It’s a great spot,” Laurie said. “The tourists get dropped off right here. Then, they wait here to get picked up.”

All four establishments operate seasonally, April to November.

Michael R. Landers August 04, 2012 at 02:11 PM
I've known Laurie for years. She was an active supporter of efforts to improve tourism in Plymouth, attending countless meetings of Tourism Committees, Downtown Merchant Groups and Tourism Summits. Her family has been invested in this effort for many years. My wife and I stopped in last night and were fortunate enough to get a couple of the chairs facing the Mayflower and the harbor. There was a lovely breeze that kept the outside humidity at bay and a beautiful full moon. Talking with Jack, he explained that while the hours are long for him(7 AM to after Midnight), he's having a ball. He had a perpetual smile last night, as did the rest of the staff and all of the customers. Pricing for the lite menu and full bar were exceptional. The Parsons will do well in this location with the pub. After all, they have many old friends rooting for them.

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