Back in December I made a visit to Salisbury, Mass. to reconnect with a diner I first saw in 1989. I wrote about it here in January…. http://dinerhotline.wordpress.com/2013/01/20/notes-from-the-hotline-jan-20-2013/. This was the former Monarch Diner that was originally located in Dover, NH from 1950 to 1968. It was moved to North Berwick, Maine and operated for a short time as Lois’ Diner. It remained closed on-site in North Berwick from 1973 to 1986 and was moved to storage in Sanford, Maine, where I first saw it in 1989. Here is a post I did in March of 2010 on abandoned diners that shows the diner in Sanford….. http://dinerhotline.wordpress.com/2010/03/26/abandoned-luncheonettes/
Ironically I saw this diner along a stretch of road somewhere in southern Maine possibly 10 years later. I believe it was in transition and possibly on its way to Salisbury where it remained in storage until 2 weeks ago. Roger Elkus who is the owner of the “Me & Ollie’s Bakery/Cafe chain of southeastern NH along with his production manager Daryl McGann have plans to reopen the former Monarch Diner and operate it as Roger’s Redliner Diner. It will become an anchor of one end of the new section of Southgate Plaza shopping center being constructed on Lafayette Rd (U.S. Rte. 1) abutting Water Country water park. In fact, it looks like the building for the kitchen/rest rooms is actually part of the new addition to the shopping center. Basically the diner will be grafted to the front of that building. They have a lot of work to do to get this diner up and running again. All the windows need replacement glass and the exterior needs some sprucing up. All the original stripes (I am assuming they were red – possibly flex-glass reflective strips) are missing. These can easily be replaced with a red plastic or enamel strip and an entryway vestibule will need to be either recreated or a reasonable facsimile be built. Elkus and McGann are shooting for an opening in the Fall of this year. We wish them luck!