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Meat Maker, Meat Maker, Make Me a Match

The Reporter's Notebook


BOSTON--Like many of the city's swank food emporiums, Savenor's Meat Market is well-stocked with organic aragula, shiitake mushrooms and the finest range-fed quail.

But unlike its competitors, this Charles Street market also boasts "meat" that is still moving.

"There are a lot of really good-looking women who come in here and sometimes, ya know, they meet good-looking guys," said owner Ron Savenor, as he wiped clean a butcher's block in the back area of the store.

Opened in 1939 by Savenor's grandfather, the European-style market has long been a meeting place for Beacon Hill's budding professionals.

"You see, we have a very young, very successful, late twenty-something crowd," explained Savenor, a hip 37-year old butcher, who was sporting a shiny new pair of Air Jordans and a blood-stained apron.

To be sure, the majority of Savenor's clients come in search of cold meat.

On Monday afternoon, the store was filled mostly by a crowd of finicky fifty-somethings picking up lamb chops and veal for dinner.

Savenor said that his collection of customers includes a number of established, local celebrities, including the famed Cantabrigian culinary, Julia Child.

But the owner likes to speak more of his young, chic clientele, and the quest for romance.

"One of my best buddies almost got married to a woman he met here and I'm about to set somebody else up," said Savenor, who got into the act himself and dated one of his customers for three years.

Customers suggest that Savenor and his staff may play a significant role in the store's match-making prowess.

"The butchers know most of their customers and they introduce everybody who comes in," said Jean Reeds, an engaged Beacon Hill resident who stopped by earlier this week to pick up a couple of salmon steaks.

Savenor insists that, at his store, courting is no serious science.

"If I know two people are single, I'll usually introduce them casually," the meat merchant said. "It's the best way to meet people."

Savenor said that he and his staff of culinary cupids are particularly busy at this time of year.

"People are always eager to meet someone in the fall-you know, they need to get someone to spend the holidays with," he said.

And while Savenor may be laidback about his job, he works under a serious mantle of match-making history.

"My dad used to do the same thing," he said. "He was notorious for it."

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