From the website of Boitson’s: On the North Side of Williamsburg Brooklyn, when bullet-proof glass still covered restaurant windows, “ladies of the night” strolled buckled sidewalks and phone booths were not only present, but occasionally worked, Maria moved into one of Alexander Boitson’s brownstone apartments. Over the years he watched his tenant travel back and forth to her family’s Long Island restaurants, Piccolo and The Mill Pond; two places she loved, but were not her own. Especially fond of Maria, “Al” offered several times to assist her in starting a business, and just as often, she declined. The two maintained a lively correspondence, even as Maria made her life in the Hudson Valley and Al remained in Brooklyn, contrasting the changing neighborhood with the one he returned to, a young sailor after WWII.
Upon his passing in 2007, Maria was shocked to find herself among the chief beneficiaries of his estate – certainly enough to open her own place, in her own way. Born of friendship, Boitson’s restaurant opened on June 4, 2010 as a bit of a living memorial, where an old, sometimes rough-talking, Ukrainian-American sailor could get a decent plate of oysters and everyone is warmly welcomed.