The Wahlberg family was back in their old neighborhood on Thursday to unveil their new Wahlburgers food truck.
Nearly 500 fans got to munch on burgers as they joined Donnie Wahlberg, chef Paul, Bob, mama Alma and Wahlburgers CEO Rick Vanzura for the ribbon cutting ceremony at the South Bay Center shopping plaza in Dorchester. Mark Wahlberg joined the fun, too, over FaceTime, as the actor was in Atlanta filming the upcoming comedy "Instant Family" with Rose Byrne and Octavia Spencer.
Since the family grew up in the neighborhood, setting up shop in Dorchester means a lot to the Wahlbergs.
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"It's home, it's always been our home," Donnie said. "To see Dorchester sort of thriving now and to be part of bringing jobs to this neighborhood and investing back into the neighborhood that gave so much to us, it's just a great source of pride for all of us."
Wahlbergs unveil Wahlburgers Boston food truck
Donnie also name-dropped a few of his favorite restaurants in the area during the festivities, including McKenna's and the Ashmont Grille. The New Kids on the Block star joked that the latter used to be a bar where "everyone would be having fights" before it became a "great restaurant."
The singer and performer couldn't be happier to bring Wahlburgers to Dorchester's food scene with the truck, which will set up shop at the South Bay Center Thursdays through Saturdays when it's not being used for off-site events. A brick and mortar restaurant is being built at the plaza as well, with plans to open in the fall.
The Wahlberg crew had originally hoped to open its second restaurant in Dorchester, but Donnie admitted that it took a while because it's not easy to build in the neighborhood. The team also wanted to make sure they had all the right stuff in place before heading back home.
"There'd be nothing worse than coming back to our old neighborhood, opening a restaurant and getting chased out because we didn't have our system down," Donnie said. "Now we have it down and now is the right time."