Thomas A. Kershaw, Chairman
Thomas A. Kershaw, Chairman of the Hampshire House Corporation, has been the dynamic force behind the growth of the Hampshire House since 1969. Kershaw's vision and energy have enabled the Hampshire House to retain its original grandeur while accommodating Bostonians and tourists for special events, private parties, weddings, and corporate functions. Just after he purchased the property, he installed the authentic English-style Bull & Finch Pub (now known as Cheers Beacon Hill) in the basement of the Hampshire House.
In 1982, Hollywood came to Boston and found Kershaw's distinctive pub in the heart of historic Beacon Hill. Since then, this neighborhood pub has become a landmark on the map of Boston - the inspiration for the setting of the TV series Cheers.
The changing landscape of Boston and the expansion of the Hampshire House Corporation have come to include:
Opened – December 1969
The Hampshire House is a turn-of-the-century mansion on historic Beacon Hill where generations of Bostonians and their guests have wined, dined, and danced the night away. Thomas A. Kershaw has been the owner of the Hampshire House since 1969. Since then, the Hampshire House has been the ideal choice for special occasions of all kinds, including: wedding receptions, corporate business events, strategic planning, corporate/executive retreats, non-profit and political fundraisers, employee recognition events, holiday parties, and alumni events.
Cheers Beacon Hill
Originally Opened as "Bull & Finch Pub" – 1969
Renamed as "Cheers" – 2001
Founded in 1969 as the Bull & Finch Pub, Cheers Beacon Hill was the original inspiration for the setting of the TV show Cheers and was known as a favorite neighbor-hood bar. In fact, the year that the Cheers show premiered on television (1982) Boston Magazine chose the Bull & Finch Pub as the “Best Neighborhood Bar” in Boston.
Opened – March 1985
When the Cheers show began to gain its popularity, the Corporations decided to sell merchandise and souvenirs. This activity was incorporated in 1985. Souvenirs are sold in two locations at 84 Beacon Street - the Backstand in the basement pub and the Gift Shop on the first floor. This is also the division that sells the World Famous Cheers Bloody Mary Mix.
Opened – October 1997
Located one block behind the Hampshire House, this small boutique restaurant has been dubbed the "Hidden Jewel of Beacon Hill." Operating as a bar and restaurant, it provides regional American comfort food served in a truly captivating setting. 75 Chestnut operates as the á la carte dining room for the Hampshire House since the facilities at 84 Beacon Street were turned over to private dining during the evenings.
Cheers, Faneuil Hall Marketplace
Opened – August 2001
In the spring of 2001, Tom Kershaw was offered the opportunity to create a restaurant and bar operation in the Faneuil Hall Marketplace. That year, the Marketplace was celebrating the 25th anniversary of its creation by the Rouse Company and the City of Boston back in 1976.
Sam’s Café at Faneuil Hall
Originally Opened (as TK's Jazz Café) – June 2002
Renamed as "Sam's Cafe" – June 2003
“The place where everybody knows your name” became even more famous when Cheers expanded its Faneuil Hall location in 2002. Due to the popularity of Cheers, the decision was made to expand the existing Cheers Faneuil Hall to accommodate its many guests. Named after ex-Red Sox pitcher Sam Malone, Sam’s Cafe is our way of sharing with our guests some of the sports memorabilia we have collected over the years. Tom Kershaw continues to expand his role in support of the community. He also gives his time freely to help promote tourism in Boston by serving as Vice President of the Freedom Trail Foundation and as Co-chairman of the Governor's Advisory Council on the Visitor Industry.
Recognized for his contributions within the restaurant and tourism industries, Kershaw has received numerous awards and distinctions including:
Restaurateur of the Year, Humanitarian of the Year Award (Project Triangle) Massachusetts Tourism Leadership Award
Distinguished Eagle Scout Award given by the Boston Minute Man Council, Boy Scouts of America.
Trade and Tourism Affiliations
Since 1986, Kershaw has held positions on several boards for Trade and Tourism.
Chairman of the Board for the Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau
Served on the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts Restaurants Association and elected its President from 1992-1993.
Served on the Board of Directors of the National Restaurant Association and served as its Chairman from 1997-1998.
Nationally, Kershaw served on the following boards:
United States Travel & Tourism Administration, 1989-1996.
Chairman of the Technology Committee of the White House Conference on Travel & Tourism
Policy Committee of the Travel Business Roundtable
Executive Committee of USTMO (United States National Tourism Organization)
Executive Committee of TIA (Travel Industry Association of America).
Civic and Philanthropic Affiliations
Kershaw is a member of the Board of Directors of the Great Boston Council / Boys Scouts of America and is Chairman of the Beacon Hill Business Association. He also serves on the Board of Bunker Hill Community College Foundation.
Education Background and Distinctions
After earning degrees from Swarthmore College and Harvard Business School, Kershaw was awarded an honorary doctorate degree from Johnson & Wales University in 1996.