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The Lower Mills Story

Two kids grew up in Dorchester, MA with big dreams.  After high school, one started a band and one went to school to follow in his grandfather's footsteps of managing a restaurant. With hard work, dedication (and maybe a little Irish luck) they both thrived in their respective fields. One now tours the world playing music and one now owns & operates restaurants all over the city.  When they heard the Lower Mills Pub was set to close, those two kids from Dorchester welcomed the opportunity to serve their hometown and the beloved community that made them who they are today.   In 2016, Brian O'Donnell and Ken Casey opened the doors to their new venture, a neighborhood tavern right on Dot Ave. They opened Lower Mills Tavern.

Our First Guest

The Irish luck mentioned above came into play almost immediately. 

On a Thursday night in May 2016, after the final staff training, Brian decided to quietly open the doors prior to the announced opening date so our staff could ease into their new jobs without the chaos and pressure of the scheduled Grand Opening Celebration. 

After a few minutes with an unlocked door, we welcomed in our first guest, who as luck would have it, was former Boston Mayor, Ray Flynn. 

Raymond Flynn et al. posing for the camera

Former Boston Mayor, Ray Flynn & Lower Mills Tavern owner, Brian O'Donnell

a man sitting at a table in a restaurant

Dropkick Murphys & Claddagh Fund Founder & Lower Mills Tavern owner, Ken Casey

Local Boston Roots

Ken Casey's love and loyalty to the city he grew up in are well-known.  Just listen to his music or follow him on social media. He is always finding ways to support and improve his Boston community.  His support is best defined by the Dropkick Murphys charitable foundation which he founded, the Claddagh Fund.

Since 2009, the Claddagh Fund has raised millions of dollars for underfunded non-profits that support the most vulnerable individuals throughout the Dorchester Boston community.

To learn more about the Claddagh Fund, visit

A Family Affair

There is another person who should be equally credited for the creation of Lower Mills Tavern.  Meet Taniya Nayak.

Look familiar?  She should!  She's the go-to designer for TV shows like Restaurant Impossible, ABC's Great Christmas Light Fight, multiple shows on the HGTV Network, and a mainstay on the morning talk show circuit. Her design expertise is sought after by celebrities, fine dining restaurant chains, and swanky hotels, and even landed her multiple appearances on Ellen. That's how most people recognize her.

To us, she's simply mama to Flynn, the English bulldog who has become our unofficial mascot. She keeps our design looking good, she keeps us happy, and sometimes has her mom (Chef Mama Nayak) join our kitchen team to make their secret family recipes as Lower Mills Tavern specials. Best of all, her business, Taniya Nayak Design is right up the street and she is married to Brian so we get to see her all the time.

a man holding a dog posing for the cameraa dog lying on the ground