Posted by: dinerhotline | February 8, 2015

Fred Casey, owner of Natick, Massachusetts diner passes away

Casey's-Diner-3
Casey’s Diner, Natick, Massachusetts September 5, 2009 photo by Larry Cultrera

I got a message yesterday (Saturday the 7th of February) from Facebook friend Timothy Wood with a link to an obituary for Fred Casey, the long-time owner of Casey’s Diner in Natick, Massachusetts. Fred was only 63 years of age (a year older than me). I had not heard if he had been sick, in fact I have not seen Fred for quite a while as every time I have been to the diner in recent years, his son Patrick was running things. Fred was the third generation of the Casey family operating the current 1922 vintage Worcester Lunch Car. His grandfather (also Fred Casey) opened it in 1927, buying it as a used diner from from where it had operated in nearby Framingham. Fred’s late father Joe had been running the diner since 1952 and Fred took over the reigns in the 1980s. Here is the article from Wicked Local online about Fred’s passing…

Natick: Customers remember Casey’s Diner owner

By Brian Benson/Daily News Staff
Posted Feb. 6, 2015 at 3:42 PM

NATICK – Amid the hustle and bustle of lunchtime at Casey’s Diner, customers remembered Friday owner Fred Casey for his friendly demeanor and the family-style atmosphere he maintained in the historic eatery. “It’s a sad day,” said Rick MacDonald of Framingham as he munched on a burger.  “You don’t talk about Natick and not mention Casey’s Diner.” Casey, 63, of Natick, died Thursday at Oak Knoll Healthcare Center of Framingham. He started working at Casey’s Diner when he was 10 years old and carried on a family tradition that dates to the 1890s. Vin Kerrigan, 66, of Natick, said he has been coming to the diner since he was in high school. “You always feel welcome,” he said of the atmosphere Casey fostered.

Elaine Griffin, who lives in Medway and estimated she has been coming to Casey’s Diner for four decades said Casey “was a great jovial man.” While the diner was bustling Friday, it will be closed Monday when Casey’s funeral is scheduled to take place. A funeral Mass will be held at 10 a.m. Monday at St. Patrick Church, 44 E. Central St., Natick. Visiting hours will be from from 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday at John Everett & Sons Funeral Home, 4 Park St. – See more at: http://natick.wickedlocal.com/article/20150206/NEWS/150207503#sthash.50MNtt3t.AabuA2a6.dpuf

I recall my first visit to Casey’s Diner back in early 1981. I had just had breakfast at the Apple Tree Diner in Dedham and met the owner Warren Jones for the first time. I told him I was going over to photograph Casey’s (I knew they were not open for the day). I got over there and parked the Chevy Van outside just past the diner and got out, leaving the engine running to take a few photos. While I was shooting the diner Fred’s dad Joe came out and invited me in. I must have spent a good 20 minutes talking with him about diners while my van was still running outside!
In fact I remember that Joe showed me his copy of John Baeder’s book “Diners”. Up until that point I had “American Diner” by Dick Gutman and “Diners of the Northeast” by Donald Kaplan and Alan Bellink in my personal library but I had not yet acquired a copy of John Baeder’s book. Needless to say the very next day I bought one at the old Wordsworth Bookstore in Harvard Square after seeing Joe Casey’s copy!
Below is a photo by Richard Howard that appeared in an article written by the talented late Donald Dale Jackson entitled “The American diner is in decline, yet more chic than ever! This was in the November, 1986 issue of Smithsonian Magazine and it gave national exposure to myself and Dick Gutman among other people including another native of my home town of Medford, John Carroll, Jr. If you can locate a copy of the mag, it still is a pretty good read! The photo shows Dick Gutman standing with Fred Casey in front of Casey’s Diner!

Dick-G-&-Fred-Casey_Richard-Howard-photo
Richard Howard photo from November 1986 Smithsonian Magazine

Casey’s Diner will be still be operated by Patrick Casey (and I believe his son) who will continue the tradition of serving the town of Natick and vicinity from this old-time diner that has been in their family for well over 80 years. Rest in Peace Fred!

Posted by: dinerhotline | December 11, 2014

Video link to the New Hampshire Chronicle interview

LAC & Carol Lawrence
Larry Cultrera & Carol Lawrence at the Red Arrow Diner during the
taping of the New Hampshire Chronicle segment about Diners.
Photo courtesy of Amanda Martineau Wihby.

Here is the link to watch the interview that publicizes my new book, New Hampshire Diners: Classic Granite State Eateries. I was interviewed at the “Manchester” Red Arrow Diner along with   – Manchester, Milford, and soon Londonderry). Others appearing were Jeff Day of Plain Jane’s Diner in Rumney, Dori Dearborn of Main Street Station Diner in Plymouth and Rose Pucci of the Union Diner in Laconia. They also showed some of my photos from the book! A huge amount of thanks to Audrey Cox of New Hampshire Chronicle and WMUR-9 for a great experience!

http://www.wmur.com/new-hampshire-chronicle/thursday-december-4th-nh-diners/30133280

Red-Arrow-Diner_11-5-2014
Red Arrow Diner from November 5, 2014 interview for
New Hampshire Chronicle

Posted by: dinerhotline | December 2, 2014

TV appearance this week to publicize New Hampshire Diners book

Screen-Shot-2014-12-02-at-6.24.08-AM

I am pleased to say that I will be making an appearance on the TV show “New Hampshire Chronicle” to help publicize my recently published book, New Hampshire Diners: Classic Granite State Eateries! This will be on Thursday, December 4, 2014 at 7:00 pm on Channel 9, WMUR-TV out of Manchester, NH. Also appearing will be diner owners including Jeff Day of Plain Jane’s Diner, Dori Dearborn of the Main Street Station Diner, Rose Pucci of the Union Diner and Carol L. Lawrence of the Red Arrow Diners. If you do not get this station locally, it will be on their website probably within a few days of the initial air date. I will be posting a link when it is up.

Posted by: dinerhotline | November 20, 2014

More Author Events scheduled for November and December

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I currently have two more Author Events scheduled for my New Hampshire Diners book. The next one is coming up on Sunday, November 23, 2014 to be held at Books A Million located in Eddy Plaza Shopping Center, 76 Fort Eddy Road in Concord, NH between 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM. The store is in the former Borders Books & Music store next to Staples. The event after that is going to be on December 14, 2014 at Toadstool Books located in Lorden Plaza, 586 Nashua Street (Rte. 101A) in Milford, NH, also between 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM. Hope to see some “Diner” nuts there!

Posted by: dinerhotline | October 19, 2014

First Author Event for New Hampshire Diners book set

NH-Diners-cvr_Large-version

The first Author Event for my book New Hampshire Diners: Classic Granite State Eateries is set for Sunday, October 26, 2014. It will be at the Barnes & Noble store in Salem, NH! I will be signing books from 1:00 to 3:00 PM. Here is the announcement from their website…
http://store-locator.barnesandnoble.com/event/4767982
The store is located at 125 S Broadway Route 28 in Salem, NH right across the street from Rockingham Park Racetrack. Phone is 603-898-1930

I will be doing one of my Lecture/Presentations at the Lucius Beebe Library in Wakefield, Massachusetts on Wednesday, October 8th. It will start at 7:00 PM. As usual the lecture is based on my book Classic Diners of Massachusetts but has some parts tailored to the venue, generally at the end of the presentation.


Flyer for the Slide Presentation & Lecture

for info besides what I have here check the Library at… http://www.wakefieldlibrary.org/library-news/classic-diners-of-massachusetts/

other info at… http://www.wakefieldlibrary.org/libraryinfo/hours/

 

title-block-logo-1

While the official publishing date for my New Hampshire Diner book is October 7th. I was contacted by my publisher the other day and was told the book is now available for pre-ordering! It is getting closer to reality! If anyone is interested, there are at least 3 different places to pre-order the book. The first is directly from my publisher… The History Press, you can check it out here at  https://historypress.net/catalogue/bookstore/books/New-Hampshire-Diners/9781626194014.
Another place is Amazon… http://www.amazon.com/New-Hampshire-Diners-Eateries-American/dp/1626194017
and still another would be Barnes & Noble… http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/new-hampshire-diners-larry-cultrera/1119826883?ean=9781626194014.

If you want to see a little tease as to what’s inside check out this link at…

http://books.google.com/books?id=TmxhBAAAQBAJ&pg=PA12&lpg=PA12&dq=new+hampshire+diners:+classic+granite+state+eateries
&source=bl&ots=Ie7fTZCNeI&sig=UX2PJU8yRoJZGrH8__3tiCNdIYQ&hl=en&sa=X&ei=xaQQVMHPCN
H2yQS81oCYCA&ved=0CFMQ6AEwCA#v=onepage&q=new%20hampshire%20diners%3A%20classic
%20granite%20state%20eateries&f=false

 

NH-Diners-cvr_Large-version

 

Service-area_Hi-Way-Diner-sign1a
a portion of the sign at the construction site of the Northbound Welcome Center
in Hooksett, NH. If you look closely, you can see a rendering of the diner which
actually looks nothing like what they are building! In fact, it looks more like the
Route 104 Diner in New Hampton, NH! (see below)

Route-104-Diner-2
The Route 104 Diner in New Hampton is also operated by The Common Man
family of restaurants. The rendering above of the Hooksett Welcome Center looks
like this diner.

Not long after I had signed the contract to write the soon-to-be-published book – New Hampshire Diners: Classic Granite State Eateries (approximately a year ago) I had seen a press release from the Granite State announcing the total redesign and construction of the new Hooksett Welcome Centers (north & southbound) located across from each other on Interstate 93 (formerly known as the Hooksett Rest Areas). Located just north of the one and only Toll booths on this road, the rest areas originally housed rest rooms and possibly vending machines along with the State Liquor Stores. The press release below spells out what the new Welcome Centers will feature which is worlds away from what had been previously there. The thing that caught my eye was the fact that there would be on-site built diners incorporated into the new development. These diners (both referred to as the Hi-Way Diner) would be operated by Alex Ray’s company, The Common Man family of restaurants!  Check out the Official Press Release below…

For Immediate Release
October 24, 2013

Construction Begins on Redeveloping Hooksett Welcome Centers on Interstate 93
Groundbreaking Kicks Off Innovative Public-Private Project With The Common Man Restaurants

CONCORD – Calling it an innovative public-private partnership, Governor Maggie Hassan helped kick off construction work today on a major upgrade of the Hooksett Welcome Centers on Interstate 93 that will provide New Hampshire residents and visitors a wide range of new and improved services, including multiple dining options, an interactive visitors center, a NH Liquor and Wine Outlet store, a country store, a bank, and fueling stations.

The Governor led the groundbreaking for the project that brings together the State of New Hampshire and The Common Man family of restaurants to provide new, high-quality facilities replacing the existing northbound and southbound Welcome Centers.

“The Hooksett Welcome Centers project is an innovative public-private partnership that will help boost our economy and support our tourism industry by providing a high-quality welcome for all visitors to the Granite State,” Governor Hassan said. “With the project estimated to create over 130 long-term jobs, the new Welcome Centers will help spur economic growth and offer a uniquely New Hampshire experience that showcases what makes our state special.”

Under a 35-year ground lease with the State of New Hampshire, The Common Man family of restaurants is funding the design, construction, maintenance, and operation of both service areas, with the exception of the NH Liquor and Wine Outlet stores, which will be funded and operated by the NH Liquor Commission.

“This is a unique and innovative project involving all New Hampshire-based companies from the owner/operator, bank, architects, construction, and other partners,” said Alex Ray, owner and founder of The Common Man family of restaurants in New Hampshire.  “As a long-time resident and business owner in New Hampshire, I’m really looking forward to a fresh statement for visitors and residents at these welcome centers and service areas,” Ray said.

The redevelopment project will construct new buildings on both sides of the highway that will feature mill-building architectural style and house all Common Man food options in a food court setting, including a 1950s style diner, an Italian Farmhouse restaurant, a deli, and a breakfast shop.  A 24-hour convenience store, two new NH State Liquor & Wine Outlet stores, a bank branch, and an interactive and informative visitors center are also part of the redevelopment plan.  Irving Oil fueling stations for passenger vehicles will be added at each location, and a test run of plug-in stations for electric vehicles will launch at the new facilities.  When completed, the project will bring an estimated 137 new full-time jobs to the area.

“The Welcome Centers are often the first impression that visitors have of the state and this new facility will put our best foot forward. Providing modern and convenient facilities will help enhance our visitors’ experience”, said New Hampshire Department of Resources and Economic Development Commissioner Jeffrey Rose.  “With tourism being the second-largest industry in the state, this will ensure that visitors have a positive impression of New Hampshire.”

The new 20,000-square-foot NH Liquor and Wine Outlet stores will more than double the size of the existing stores.

“These will be model Welcome Centers for New Hampshire,” said New Hampshire Department of Transportation Commissioner Chris Clement.  “It’s a great project for the Turnpike System, the DOT, the NH Liquor Commission, and the State.  The new Welcome Centers will be a “must stop” for commuters, tourists, and liquor store patrons.”

“These two new high-profile NH Liquor and Wine Outlet mega stores will benefit traveling guests and residents alike,” said NH Liquor Commission (NHLC) Chairman Joseph Mollica.  “Customers will experience the retail future of the NHLC thanks to numerous design improvements resulting in a more enjoyable shopping experience.   Spirit selections will increase by 50 percent and wine offerings will increase 75 percent, introducing customers to the hottest new brands and more exclusively allocated items.  All these factors lead us to project up to $6 million in sales increases between the two locations.”

In Fiscal Year 2013, sales at the I-93 NH Liquor and Wine Outlet stores at the Hooksett Welcome Centers were approximately $34.5 million.

“This development will set a new standard for the traveling public and shows our commitment to expand our retail network in New England with high quality destinations for travelers,” says Paul Browning, President & CEO of Irving Oil. “Irving Oil has a long tradition of providing excellent customer service and high-quality products to motorists; working with our partners, we’re delighted we will soon have the opportunity to enhance our service to both the local community and drivers on Interstate 93.”

Both Hooksett Welcome Centers, as well as the NH Liquor and Wine Outlet stores, will remain open throughout the construction project.  The new Hooksett Welcome/Service Centers are scheduled to be completed in April 2015.

For construction updates, site plans and downloadable renderings and photos, please visit http://www.nh.gov/dot/org/operations/turnpikes/ort/hooksett15970.htm.

I had spoken with Alex Ray of The Common Man family of restaurants when doing some research for the NH Diner book. I mentioned about the diners he had already been operating… the Tilt’n Diner in Tilton, the Route 104 Diner in New Hampton and the Airport Diner in Manchester. He was involved with the Tilt’n from the beginning when he bought and moved it in the late 1980s from its last operating location in Salisbury, Massachusetts. He had it in storage for a couple of years before finding a new operating location in Tilton. He basically set it up to be the front of the new, current restaurant. The Route 104 Diner had already been operating for a number of years as Bobby’s Girl Diner prior to his buying it, so the only change to that was a new parapet above the windows. Of the 3 diners, the Airport was the only one he had built from the ground up. It is attached to the Holiday Inn Express and certainly looks like a diner, inside and out. Ray told me he much preferred building from scratch instead of using an old classic diner as he did not have to deal with retrofitting an old building to conform to codes.

The last time I was up this way sometime in the Spring, both the Northbound and Southbound Welcome Centers were under construction but not far enough along to note where the diners would be located. But in recent weeks I had reports from Patty Desmond, a co-worker of mine as well as my sister Linda Artz who had noticed the facade of the diners taking shape. In fact Patty took a shot of the northbound location just over a week ago. I knew I would also be stopping by the locations to and from a family get-together in Laconia on Labor Day Weekend so I would also be taking some initial shots as well. Because of Patty’s photo I knew the site was surrounded by construction fences which would more than likely prohibit me from getting decent shots, and this was certainly the case as evidenced by the following photos.

Hi-Way-Diner-Northbound-1
The exterior of the Hi-Way Diner at the Northbound Welcome Center on I-93
in Hooksett, NH. August 31, 2014 photo by Larry Cultrera

Hi-Way-Diner-Northbound-2a
The exterior of the Hi-Way Diner at the Northbound Welcome Center on I-93
in Hooksett, NH. August 31, 2014 photo by Larry Cultrera

Hi-Way-Diner-Southbound-1
The exterior of the Hi-Way Diner at the Southbound Welcome Center on I-93
in Hooksett, NH. August 31, 2014 photo by Larry Cultrera

Hi-Way-Diner-Southbound-2
The exterior of the Hi-Way Diner at the Southbound Welcome Center on I-93
in Hooksett, NH. August 31, 2014 photo by Larry Cultrera

The Southbound side is not quite as far along as the the Northbound side, although as you can see, the buildings are mirror images across the highway from each other. As mentioned above, the 2 diners do not resemble the artist’s rendering on the sign at both construction sites but are more reminiscent of the Airport Diner in Manchester, which seem more in line to what I would have thought! The next photo shows the Airport Diner in Manchester, where you can see the similarities.

Airport-Diner-2
The Airport Diner at the Holiday Inn Express at 2280 Brown Avenue in Manchester.
April 2014 photo by Larry Cultrera

The Tilt’n Diner in Tilton, NH is the other diner operated by The Common Man family of restaurants…

Tilt'n-Diner-5
The Tilt’n Diner is a 1950 vintage Jerry O’Mahony Diner that previously operated
in Waltham, Mass. (1950-1970) and Salisbury, Mass. (1970-1986).

Ironically, my old friend Ron Dylewski stopped to photograph the Hi-Way Diner on the northbound side on his way to Meredith, NH the very same day I was there (this past Sunday) and sent a message as well as his own photo. Looks like he avoided getting the construction fence in the shot by putting his camera thru the small gap between sections. If I had used my smaller Nikon digital camera instead of the larger Pentax DSLR, I possibly could have got a shot like that as well!

hooksstt_faux_diner
Ron Dylewski’s photo from this past Sunday of the Hi-Way Diner in Hooksett, NH

By the amount of work left to be done on the project, I would not expect to see these open before the end of the year, but who knows… I could be surprised! And by the way, they are mentioned breifly in the new book in Chapter 4 – the On-Site/Homemade Diners section under the Airport Diner. Thanks to Ron Dylewski for sending along the the photo as well as the link about the announcement from last October, it saved me a little time!

orVinyl-Dialogues-cover

Mike Morsch has written a new book that was published this past Spring by Biblio Publishing out of Columbus, Ohio. The book is entitled “The Vinyl Dialogues” and features a whole slew of stories behind some memorable LP record albums from the 1970s as told by the artists who recorded them. Artists like Doug Clifford, the drummer for Creedence Clearwater Revival (and now of Creedence Clearwater Revisted) talking about the band’s “Cosmo’s Factory” album, or Dino Danelli of The Rascals (formerly Young Rascals) talking about the very last album the band produced… “Search and Nearness” and even Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong (Cheech & Chong) talking about their album “Los Cochinos” which featured the hit song “Basketball Jones”, among many others. But the part of the book that especially interested me was the chapter on Daryl Hall & John Oates “Abandoned Luncheonette” album from 1973. Mike ended up using 2 of my circa 1982 photos as well as a scan of the postcard of the Rosedale Diner, the diner that became the Abandoned Luncheonette!

M2_Burlington-by-the-book_8-8-2014
Mike Morsch at an author’s event held at Burlington By The Book
on a recent trip to Burlington, Iowa (photo courtesy of Mike Morsch)

An experienced journalist, for over 36 years – humor columnist and writer, currently residing in Montgomeryville, PA, Mike Morsch is also the author of the book, “Dancing in My Underwear: The Soundtrack of My Life”. He was the executive editor of Montgomery Newspapers (2003-2013) where his award-winning humor column “Outta Leftfield” has been recognized by the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association, the Suburban Newspapers of America and the Philadelphia Press Association. I first heard of Mike Morsch back in February of 2013  thru a piece he wrote about the 40th Anniversary of the release of Daryl Hall & John Oates LP record album “Abandoned Luncheonette”. He actually told the story of the creation of the album as well as Hall & Oates association with the former Rosedale Diner that was depicted on the album cover. The link to that article is here… http://montgomerynews.com/articles/2013/02/13/entertainment/doc511a77017c794300082354.txt?viewmode=fullstory.  I found out in researching for that piece, Mike found my blog post from August 2010 (co-written with Matt Simmons) that told about the album cover from the Rosedale Diner’s point of reference, find it here at… https://dinerhotline.wordpress.com/2010/08/14/the-story-of-the-the-abandoned-luncheonette-aka-the-rosedale-diner/.

When I contacted Mike back then about his piece he said that our blog post was very useful in helping him track down dates so that he had an idea when he went to the local newspaper in Pottstown to research its archives”. He went on to sayIt was a thorough piece and that we had done a lot of good legwork on it” (mostly Matt IMHO).  I subsequently wrote about his piece here at Diner Hotline… https://dinerhotline.wordpress.com/2013/02/16/finally-the-abandoned-luncheonette-from-hall-oates-point-of-view/. Morsch also wrote a companion piece that appeared in a prominent music magazine around the same time. He sent me this message with a link…Larry: Here is the second H&O story, which was just put online by American Songwriter magazine: http://www.americansongwriter.com/2013/02/hall-oates/ “. These 2 articles basically became the catalyst for Mike writing his book, The Vinyl Dialogues!

What lead Mike in this direction was his love of popular music. Like a lot of us, he grew up listening to music, originally through exposure to his parent’s record collection and/or radio listening preferences. Usually by the time you are into your early “teens” you develop your own likes and preferences apart from your parents and more in tune with what your generation is currently listening to, and Mike was no exception to this. As he goes on to say in his introduction… “When I was a kid growing up in Central Illinois, my folks had a record collection that consisted of popular music from the late 1950s to the mid-1960s. I played those vinyl albums – Elvis, The Beach Boys, The Beatles, The Association and many more – so much so I wore them out. By the time the 1970s rolled around and I was in high school, I was more into eight-track tapes, cassettes, big bushy sideburns and bell-bottomed pants”. (“Seventies suave” indeed.) He goes on to say that he “still did not have his own record collection!”

35 years later he decided to change all that when for Christmas of 2012, his wife bought him a turntable, thus facilitating the beginning in earnest of a vinyl record buying spree that continues unabated to the present! He approached this as a personal odyssey to listen to some of his favorite artist’s early work via their purest form of analog recording on vinyl records. Living in the greater Philadelphia area, Morsch had quite a few record stores to choose from to help feed his hunger for vintage LP’s. He goes on to explain that the first album he coveted was the Atlantic Records 1973 release of Daryl Hall & John Oates “Abandoned Luncheonette”! He found a pristine example early on in his search and this ultimately lead to the writing of his new book. He had so much fun writing this book that he is already lining up interviews for a second volume of The Vinyl Dialogues! The story continues…

rosedale-postcard
The Postcard image (from my collection) of the Rosedale Diner appears on
Page 105 of Mike Morsch’s “The Vinyl Dialogues”

rosedale1
My 1982 exterior photo of the Abandoned Luncheonette appears on
Page 110 of Mike Morsch’s “The Vinyl Dialogues”

rosedale5
My 1982 interior photo of the Abandoned Luncheonette appears on
Page 112 of Mike Morsch’s “The Vinyl Dialogues”

I highly recommend this book if your interests include 1970s popular music and how or why some of this came to fruition. It certainly is an enjoyable read! I am always happy to see my photos get published in something other than this blog or my own books, as the acknowledgement is a validation of my passion for doing  a small part in helping to document the American Roadside with my photographs.

Check out Mike’s Facebook page for the book… https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Vinyl-Dialogues/300977096732836 as well as the book’s website… http://www.vinyldialogues.com/ and even the blog… http://vinyldialogues.com/VinylDialoguesBlog/

 

 

 

Haven-Brothers movie logo

 

In catching up on my blog posts, I am finally getting around to mentioning about attending the World Premiere of a documentary movie that was held on June 7, 2014 at the historic Columbus Theater in Providence, RI.  The documentary was filmed by Jeff Toste and tells the story of “The Oldest Operating Diner on Wheels” – Haven Brothers Diner of Providence! I had known about the making of this movie as I had been contacted by Jeff  to be interviewed  approximately 2 years or so ago. In fact I did have 2 small appearances within the film and I have to say I was pleased with how I came across! Jeff did an extremely great job in putting together hundreds of interviews to create this highly informative and entertaining film! I was honored to have a small part in it, thanks Jeff! The next 2 photos were shot the day that Jeff interviewed me back in the spring of 2012. The diner had just pulled in to start the daily shift from 5:00 PM til the early morning.

Haven-Bros.-7
Haven Brothers Diner, Providence, RI. Circa 2012 photo by Larry Cultrera

Haven-Bros.-4
Haven Brothers Diner, Providence, RI. Circa 2012 photo by Larry Cultrera

Haven-Bros.-5
The sign showing the reserved spot the diner has next door to City Hall in
Providence. Circa 2012 photo by Larry Cultrera

Denise and I drove down to Providence on June 7th and had lunch at the newly restored West Side Diner not too far from the Columbus Theater. When we got to the theater in the early evening we saw old friends Paula Walsh (and her husband Ed) as well as her partner in crime, Denise Bass. I also finally met Chris Martin who is a Facebook friend and long-time acquaintance. He was also one of the people interviewed in the movie. The next few shots show Haven Brothers Diner parked right out in front of the the Theater on the evening of the Premiere!

Haven-Bros-Premiere-1
Haven Brothers Diner outside of the Columbus Theater, Providence, RI.
Before the World Premiere of the movie, June 7, 2014 photo by Larry Cultrera

Haven-Bros-Premiere-2
Haven Brothers Diner outside of the Columbus Theater, Providence, RI.
Before the World Premiere of the movie, June 7, 2014 photo by Larry Cultrera

Haven-Bros-Premiere-4
Haven Brothers Diner outside of the Columbus Theater, Providence, RI.
After the World Premiere of the movie, June 7, 2014 photo by Larry Cultrera

Haven-Bros-Premiere-5
Haven Brothers Diner outside of the Columbus Theater, Providence, RI.
After the World Premiere of the movie, June 7, 2014 photo by Larry Cultrera

Haven-Bros-Premiere-7
Haven Brothers Diner outside of the Columbus Theater, Providence, RI.
After the World Premiere of the movie, June 7, 2014 photo by Larry Cultrera

Jeff Toste makes his directorial debut with this movie which is described as a “Feature length documentary” featuring an all Rhode Island music sampler soundtrack…

Haven Brothers: Legacy of the American Diner tells the story of Haven Bros. Diner, the oldest operating diner on wheels. The original “fast food,” the original food truck, this late night lunch cart has diligently served patrons for over 120 years. Located in the birthplace of the American diner, Providence, RI, the documentary centers around the fact that Haven Bros. was almost lost to the modernizing of Providence. The diner was moved from its reserved parking spot next to Providence City Hall, and this was considered blasphemy to its loyal followers.

In the words of lifelong Providence resident and founder of artists’ collaborative AS220, Umberto Crenca, “It’s not just the physical reality of it being here, but the conceptual reality of it being not here. What would be missed?”

Lovers, haters, historians, public officials, college students, and many colorful characters share the history and heartburn of the oldest diner
on wheels. (courtesy http://havenbrothersmovie.com/ ). The Haven Brothers Movie has been recently selected to take part in the Rhode Island International Film Fest and in fact it has won an award! See this link… http://www.providencejournal.com/features/entertainment/movies-tv/20140812-r.i.-international-film-fest-awards-prizes.ece

I highly recommend if you have a chance to see this movie, do it!

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