Williamson’s Restaurants Hosted a Magical Montco Matchmaking Moment 50 Years Ago

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couple at a table
Image via Jessica Griffin at The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Mary Ellen and Chris Mullins.

Williamson’s has been a Montgomery County restaurant brand for decades, with a Bala Cynwyd dining room and a now-closed Lower Merion location. A couple who met while under Williamson’s employ — Mary Ellen and Chris Mullins — are still serving each other a half-century later. Kellie Patrick Gates plated their relationship’s details in The Philadelphia Inquirer.

The Mullins first connected on separate family vacations in Cape Cod, unaware of their shared employer.

It wasn’t until they started to that they realized their parallel careers, a fact blurred because each worked in a separate version of the restaurant. They got to know each other better zipping around the cape on Chris’ motorcycle.

As that summer ended, both returned to school, Mary Ellen at Gwynedd Mercy, and Chris at Villanova. And they continued at their respective Williamsons, part time.

By October, Chris and Mary Ellen were engaged; they married May 27, 1972.

The reception was — where else? — at the Williamson’s Lower Merion dining room, where the expansive 12th floor view promised a clear future.

Chris continued in the food-service industry, opening the Norristown edition of Morey’s Pub. Since 1993, the couple has co-owned and -operated McGillin’s Olde Ale House in Phila.

Retirement? Not in the cards for either of them.

“Chris is going to die behind the bar,” Mary Ellen joked.

Mary Ellen and Chris Mullins’ full story is at The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Chris Mullins’ mother, at the 1972 wedding reception that joined him to Mary Ellen,
was disappointed the rock band didn’t know this romantic tune that captured where the couple first met.
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