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Landmark Changes Hands
New management for Duck Brand

Guy Waring's "duck" branding iron, which can be seen at the Shafer Museum in Winthrop. Waring named his saloon after his cattle brand.
The long-time logo for the restaurant and hotel that has become a Winthrop landmark.

Brothers Albertano and Teo Dominguez and their brother-in-law, Filipe Arellno, have leased the Duck Brand Hotel and Cantina with an option to buy.

“We’re going to do some fixing,” said Albertano. That includes tile in the bathrooms, new lights and fans, and a new front counter. Right now the restaurant is torn up, and they are working hard on renovations. They hope to re-open in January.

Albertano has cooked at the Duck Brand for 16 years. He knows the menu and the restaurant inside and out. He will be helped in the kitchen by Filipe, who has worked at the restaurant nearly a decade. Teo, who was an employee for a short time, will be the “front guy and general manager,” said Albertano.

David and Peggy Coats built and opened the building that now houses the Duck Brand in 1978. “It was the first modern building in downtown Winthrop built in true 1890s style,” said David.

The first restaurant housed in the building was ‘Omelets R Us.’ In 1981, that changed to the ‘Duck Brand Delicatessen and Restaurant’ operated briefly by the Coats.

“We had a very, very thin winter in 1981 and ’82, said David. “We lived entirely on tips Peggy made as a waitress.”

In 1982 Joe Costales bought the restaurant business. In 1983, the Coats sold the building itself to a collection of Winthrop investors, headed by Dick Brown, known as the Sudor Group. They, in turn, sold the building to the Costales In 1990.

In the three decades they owned and operated the restaurant, Joe and Diane Costales, known to some as ‘Joe and Diane Duck’, built the Duck Brand into a Winthrop focal point and gathering spot.

Along with renovations, there will be some changes to the menu as well. But the ‘Duck Brand’ name is part of Winthrop history. Local lore has it that Winthrop founder Guy Waring hated liquor so he started and ran his Duck Brand Saloon, named after his cattle brand, to control drinking in the new town. The Coats carried the name to the restaurant, then Joe and Diane Costales, along with all the employees that have come and gone, made it a local landmark.

Now it will be family-run by three of those employees.


Note: This story was corrected on 1/7/2012. The earlier version said the business was purchased.