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PERRY DINATALE BOSTON.COM FEATURE ARTICLE

This month, I was interviewed by boston.com about my billboards. Read the article below:

On a busy stretch of West Broadway, you couldn't miss it:

"I'm short and fat. How about you?"

The billboard, which was located right above Rondo's Sub Shop last year, was an attention-grabber, but somewhat cryptic in its message. Then, about six months later, a new billboard replaced it. This one had an image of a mid-rise building that read:

"You'll like it on top."

This one was easier to understand, but certainly tongue-in-cheek.

Both were the work of Perry DiNatale, a 53-year-old real estate broker. The Southie native and father of two young boys has seen the neighborhood completely change over the last 50 years, and realized that with a changing and expanding market, he needed new ways to advertise his business.

That's why about five years ago, he started buying billboard advertisements. Since then, he's had more than a dozen signs sprinkled around South Boston and the waterfront. As for the "short and fat" declaration, it was a spur-of-the-moment decision.

"It was how I was feeling about myself at that time. I just threw it up there," DiNatale said. "Normally realtors are bragging in ads like, 'I'm No.1.' It's just how I was feeling that day. I was hoping to get people's attention."

At 5'5?, he considers himself a short guy, but at 165 pounds, DiNatale is hardly fat. Still, his boards have drawn a mix of shock and laughter from the neighborhood--and potential clients. Even though he says he's been in business for 20 years and handled more than 1,000 real estate transactions, five years of those large ads earned him the reputation of being called the "broker on billboards."

"This is the best board I had. I sold four houses from this billboard," DiNatale says. "People order 'small Italian' sandwiches at sub shops. This was in reference to my small stature and Italian heritage. ?I'll take the 'Small Italian' to sell my house." --Perry DiNatale

This billboard replaced the notorious "short and fat" ad. --Melissa Malamut

"I've seen South Boston change in front of my eyes. I'm in shock," DiNatale said. "The prices have just blown me away. They keep going up and people keep paying it."

That's why DiNatale still has two billboards out around town, even in an ever-changing media and advertising landscape. The current displays are more tame than his wilder advertisements, and DiNatale says that he just wanted a new campaign.

"One says 'Perry sold my house' and the other says, "Perry sold my house, too," he said. "It's been less successful at bringing in the clients."

For now, DiNatale is going to stick with these more conservative displays to see how it goes.

"This is all stuff I just think of in my crazy head," he said.

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    WHERE TO EAT IN SOUTH BOSTON

    Looking for good eats in South Boston? Though not known for dining, South Boston does have some must-try options. From the classic Irish pub to hip brunch spots, discover what Southie is serving up!

    The Paramount

    The Paramount in South Boston

    Get in line! The Paramount is serving up breakfast, lunch, and dinner in cafeteria-style. Stand in line, place your order, and take a seat! Well known for its breakfast and brunch options, The Paramount's spread includes banana and caramel French toast, Belgian waffles, huevos rancheros, and more. Stop by 667 East Broadway and check out their full menu.

    Amrheins

    Your local Irish pub - kicked up a notch! This is one of the neighborhood's staple spots and has some deep roots. Amrheins is home to the country's oldest, hand-carved bar and Boston's first beer pump. A cozy atmosphere and traditional dishes made from locally-sourced ingredients, this waterhole is serving up Yankee pot roast, lobster mac 'n' cheese, and a variety of craft beers on tap. Amrheins is located at 80 W Broadway.

    Barlow's Restaurant

    Take is easy at Barlow's Restaurant. Order cozy comfort dishes - from traditional tavern fare to brunch specials. Check out the prosciutto, fig jam, and blue cheese pizza and the Barlow burger, or come by early for the Barlow's pancake platter, eggs Benedict, and more! Barlow's also offers live music every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday - grab a pint and enjoy. Located at 241 A Street.

    KO Catering & Pies

    Take a trip Down Under! KO Catering & Pies is the place to try some Aussie classics, from classic meat pies and shrimp on the barbie to Vegemite and sweet ANZAC biscuits. This Australian-inspired restaurant is at 87 A Street.

    CAPO

    CAPO Italian Restaurant South Boston

    CAPO has just opened on 443 West Broadway! After months of secrecy, this Italian restaurant is now open for business. Come enjoy the rustic vibe and dine on delicious Italian fare. Keeping true to its roots, CAPO will serve up classic recipes that all with love. With an open-concept kitchen, a selection of fine wines, and exposed brick decor - you will feel transported back to the old country. Check out the chicken parmegiana, linguini vongole, or the monkfish picatta.

    Lincoln Tavern & Restaurant

    Lincoln Tavern & Restaurant in South Boston

    Popular among young professionals, this Americana spot hits the spot after a long day of work. Exposed brick and the two bars make for a comfortable scene with a rustic vibe. Sip on craft beers or a delicious cocktail and try one of their many wood-fired pizzas. Stop by Lincoln Tavern & Restuarant at 425 W Broadway.

    Local 149

    Local 149 South Boston

    Keep it local and fresh at Local 149! This eclectic eatery prides itself with delicious meals made with ingredients from the areas purveyors and producers. Grab drinks at the bar with friends, get cozy for brunch near the fire or enjoy a family gathering. Local 149 is part of the Neighborhood Restaurant Group and is at 149 P Street.

    Tasty Burger

    The burger - a classic American sandwich and Tasty Burger is serving up the best. Southie is home to one of its four locations. This burger joint is serving up your favorite comfort foods, from the bacon cheeseburger with crispy onion rings to Monday's "chicky chicky parm parm" special. Tasty Burger is at 69 L Street.

    Sullivan's Castle Island

    Sullivan's in South Boston

    This is a Southie staple. For over 6 decades, Sullivan's Castle Island has stuck true to its classic, 1950s roots. Serving up clam rolls and soft-served ice cream behind a retro counter, this is a family joint with a long history. Do the "Sullivan Shuffle" on Castle Island at 2080 Day Boulevard.

    Stephi's in Southie

    Stephi's in South Boston

    Jump off the Red Line and grab a table at Stephi's!  This upscale bistro provides American fare with a modern, international twist. Their menu offers Asian yellowfin tuna salad, Bloody Mary steak tips, a list of signature cocktails - as well as a delicious weekend brunch menu! This Southie restaurant is a spin-off of their Newbury and Tremont locations. Check out Stephi's at 130 Dorchester Ave.

    Enjoy all of these Southie eateries! If you would like to learn more about South Boston, or are interested in South Boston real estate, feel free to contact me today.

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