The 13-mile stretch of road from Revere to Danvers that encompasses Route 1 north of Boston has earned fame for its establishments fronted by garish signs and iconic, kitschy landmarks such as orange dinosaurs and fiberglass cows. Eye-catching to some, eyesores to others, still standing or not, they’ve proved memorable to both tourists and locals alike. Strip malls and megastores by corporate giants now coexist with small businesses and Square One Mall. Beloved restaurants have disappeared and motels touting color TV and telephones in every room have pretty much vanished.
When Bob Dobias Jr. was just out of high school, he convinced his mother, Sharon, to drive from their Swampscott home to Maine and buy a weather-beaten Mako skiff. It was a strategic move, because his father, Bob Sr., was busy coaching Swampscott High School’s football team, so there was little chance of encountering resistance.
Kevin Currie is an enigma. Although stifled by a form of cerebral palsy named spastic diplegia, and other conditions associated with the neurological disorder, the 39-year-old Saugus resident lives a happy, active life CP restricts him from completing many everyday tasks, still his spirit soars beyond the disorder’s crippling ways. Medical jargon does not define Kevin, who was born two months premature, as he refuses to be undermined.
It’s hard to imagine that a small ice cream parlor once sat on the landmark Route 1 spot that houses the expansive Kowloon Restaurant. Looking at the transformation, it’s remarkable that one family had the foresight to open a business that would become one of the largest Asian dining complexes in the country.