According to Voices of East Anglia, the venue was owned by Thomas Kilgarriff, who was born in Dunmore, County Galway, Ireland. He moved to America when he was 21 and worked hard as a ditch digger and a carpenter until he had enough money to buy the Kilgarriff’s Cafe in the 1940s.
The venue became well known in Jamaica Plain, it regularly showcased live Irish music and talent contests. Mr. Kilgarriff would book traditional Irish musicians and Irish pop bands to perform there, attracting all ages from Go Go boot wearing young ladies and hippy types to well dressed older gents. Below are some interesting vintage photographs captured an amateur night at Kilgarriff’s Café in 1976.
(Photos by Spencer Grant / Boston Public Library)