Warren Jones passes away. The last person to operate the Apple Tree Diner

I just received word that one of my earliest “Diner Buddies” Warren Jones passed away. I spoke with his mother, Ona Jones this morning and she told me the sad news. I did not want to bother her with questions (where, when, etc.) and so I gave her my condolences and told her I would keep in touch. I called the town clerk’s office where they lived and found out Warren passed away on August 22, 2007. I knew he was battling cancer and that he was very sick so I guess it was not a total surprise. For those of you who do not know, Warren was the last person to operate the Apple Tree Diner, (a 1929 vintage Worcester diner with a monitor roof) at it’s only address, Washington Street (Rte. 1A) in Dedham, Mass. He ran the diner from around 1977 through July of 1981 when the property the diner was on was sold to a developer. He moved the diner to Foxboro where he hoped to set up an expanded version of the restaurant in a shopping center parking lot. That deal unfortunately fell through and the diner ended up in at least 2 other storage sites and sold to one other person until Dave Waller bought the diner in 1988 for his private collection.
I had many a good time hanging with Warren and his family prior to his move to North Carolina in the late 1980’s. I have had sporadic contact with him over the years since but there was one constant, his mother and I have been exchanging Christmas cards forever (it seems) so there was always some contact. I only wish I knew sooner so I could have paid my respects to the family. Warren Jones was 57 years old.
Goodbye old friend, we will miss you!

6 years since owner of Main Street Diner passed away

I just wanted to acknowledge that yesterday was the 6th anniversary of when my buddy Owen Abdalian passed away. At the time of his untimely death at 46 years of age, he was the owner of the Main Street Diner in Woburn, Mass. Owen and his wife Ranu had been running the diner (Worcester Lunch Car # 834) for about 21 years and he was actually about to make a big life change. He had just passed his test for obtaining a teaching certificate and was going to put the diner up for sale. His plans were to teach culinary arts at a local vocational school and I’m sure with his personality, he would have been a fantastic teacher! I cannot believe it has been 6 years already.

New diner gets 1st approval in Fairfield

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The DeCoven Diner formerly of Duncannon, PA above, hopefully will soon reopen as Zemo’s Diner in Fairfield, CT

Here is the text from an article written by Andrew Brophy for the Connecticut Post about Gary Zemola’s new diner project. This appeared on ConnPost.com today…

FAIRFIELD — Gary Zemola’s dream of opening a diner is on a front burner. Zemola, 42, owner of Super Duper Weenie on lower Black Rock Turnpike, won approval last week from the first of two town zoning boards he needs to open “Zemo’s Diner” on Duka Avenue.

The portable diner, which Zemola bought on eBay, was manufactured by the Jerry O’Mahony Diner Co. in Elizabeth, N.J., in 1954 and as recently as 2003 operated as the DeCoven Diner in Duncannon, Pa. The diner is now in storage in Monroe, where Zemola has nearly completed restoration.

Last week, the Zoning Board of Appeals approved Zemola’s request to open the diner behind Fairfield Lighting and Design with four fewer parking spaces than town zoning regulations require.

The plan still needs approval from the Town Plan and Zoning Commission.

Robert Brennan Jr., the ZBA chairman, said Zemola has to get a lease that would allow customers to use at least four parking spaces in the lot outside Fairfield Lighting and Design.

Brennan said no other business can use that parking lot and a sign on Black Rock Oyster Bar can no longer direct that eatery’s patrons to the lighting store’s parking lot.

John Fallon, Zemola’s lawyer, said all of those conditions are acceptable to Zemola.

The 59-seat Zemo’s Diner would be installed on adjacent properties at 63 and 75 Duka Ave. that are owned by Frank Zemola, Gary’s father. Frank Zemola also owns property where Fairfield Lighting and Design is located.

Houses on the Duka Avenue properties would be torn down to make way for the diner.
Zemola plans to continue operating Super Duper Weenie if his diner is able to open.