the story behind Mulholland's AHOP
In 1974 John and Gladys Mulholland moved with their three children to Augusta from Connecticut to learn the restaurant business from their best friends Sonny and Violet Cahill. Within three years, they not only “learned the business”, but they were ready to take the next step, establishing The Augusta House of Pancakes (AHOP) at its current location, 100 Western Avenue.
Friends since their days in “The County – Houlton”, Violet and Gladys traveled to CT after high school to look for work. They were maid of honors in each other’s weddings, and had begun raising their families when the Cahill’s made the move to Maine in the late 60’s. It was 1974 when John and Gladys made the decision to re-locate to Augusta to learn the restaurant business from the Cahill’s. Prior to that, John had been a top-notch binary-man, and Gladys excelled at any work she took when not caring for her family.
The original Pancake House was located at 1 Hitch Born Street. At that time, their neighbors were The Augusta House, Jose Motors, Reggie's, Hayfords Shell Station and State Street News. It was a small operation, seating about 45 between 9 tables and a counter. Customers were locals, State House workers and the “Legies” or Legislators when they were in session. There was a jukebox at the original location, and the regulars took great joy in playing songs they would annoy Gladys – in particular- John Denvers “Thank God Ima Country Boy!”
By 1976, The Mulhollands had grown the business to its capacity, and found a two family house on Western Avenue they felt would be a great location. Renovations took place from that summer through fall and winter, and the newly named Augusta House of Pancakes was ready for business on January 2, 1977. What is known as the “main” dining room, counter and grill area are part of that original renovation.
Business was booming as soon as the doors opened and before long, it was necessary to expand. Another 8 dining table room were added to the east side of the building, along with more booths that were added to the counter area, and the kitchen was expanded. In later years, another dining room was added to the west side of the building, and more parking was added through the purchase of neighboring properties. Further renovations occurred with continued growth.
The children, Laurie, John and Valerie Mulholland all grew up working in the restaurant, as did many of their friends! Gladys and Moe were parent figures to all of them. Laurie and Valerie went on to different careers, but John purchased AHOP from his parents in 1990. He started working for the Cahills in the summers prior to his families move to Maine. He bussed tables, washed dishes and carried a sign up and down Western Avenue drawing customers who might not know about the restaurant hidden behind the then, Iconic Augusta House Hotel. The Mulholland’s lost Gladys all too soon in 1992, and John “Moe” in 2015. John, his wife Jodi, and their children, Johnny and Jaclyn, continue the family tradition of AHOP, serving great home-cooked food in a friendly, family atmosphere.