Since 1951

The Original Roast Beef Sandwich

Think You Know The Roast Beef Sandwich? Think Again!

Before 1951, no one thought to eat thinly sliced, melt in your mouth roast beef in sandwich form. We did.

Yep, we’re known as the inventor of the roast beef sandwich topped with American Cheese, mayonnaise, and James River BBQ Sauce, affectionately known as the three-way. Just ask anyone from Boston’s North Shore, where we’ve been a staple for over 70 years.

Why Roast Beef?

As with many good things, roast beef was a fluke. We began in 1951 as a hot dog shack steps from the Atlantic Ocean on Revere Beach — the first public beach in America — right outside of Boston. Our founders, Frank V. McCarthy and Raymond Carey, named the shack after their best friend, Thomas Kelly.

In addition to running Kelly’s, McCarthy and Carey also worked for a special events venue next door.  One night a wedding canceled, leaving the duo with several spare roast beefs. Not wanting them to go to waste, they took the roasts to the hot dog stand and began serving thinly sliced beef on a grilled hamburger roll the next day. The three roast beefs they expected to last the day lasted an hour. And the rest, as they say, is history!

When in New England …

When in
New England …

Given that our original location was steps from the ocean, as the business grew it only made sense to add classic New England seafood dishes to our offerings, like fried whole belly clams, scallops, homemade clam chowder and more, as well as Frappes (otherwise known as a milkshakes everywhere outside of New England!). Over the years, our menu continued to expand and today we offer a variety of sandwiches, sides and more that can suit any dietary restriction or preference.


Kelly’s Today

Kelly’s Today

Today, we continue to operate as we have since 1951. We make everything fresh daily at each of our locations, including our original flagship, still the most famous landmark on Revere Beach! During a peak month, one restaurant can sell over 20,000 sandwiches; we don’t do it the easy way, we do it the right way, because one thing we’ll never skimp on is quality!