Possible new restaurant in Medford, Mass. resurrects memories of Carroll’s Diner

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Carroll’s Restaurant, February, 1982 (Larry Cultrera) 

This weeks Medford Transcript, a weekly newspaper confirmed some info they published in a recent edition. Last week there was an article about the possibility of changing the amount of seating a restaurant operating in Medford has to have in order to obtain a liquor license. It also mentioned the revival of Medford Square and that there was a possibility of a new restaurant opening in the storefront now occupied by Century Bank on High Street. The restaurant in question was to be opened by a local family with past historic connections in the hospitality industry of the city.

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Carroll’s Diner, 1930-1948 (courtesy of the Carroll family)

Well it was confirmed today that Maury Carroll is looking to continue the family tradition that started circa 1930, when his grandfather opened a used Brill diner on Main Street. This was the first Carroll’s Diner which operated adjacent to the other family business, Medford Battery Co. By 1948, Carroll’s dad and uncle (Maurice, Jr. and Jack) were running the diner and they upgraded to a brand-new stainless steel beauty built by Jerry O’Mahony Diners of Elizabeth, NJ. The older diner became the kitchen for the new one at this time.

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Carroll’s Diner, 1948-1962, (courtesy of the Carroll family)

In 1961, the business had outgrown the 1948 model and the family had bought adjacent parcels of land to expand the diner. They went to Joe Swingle, who had sold them the O’Mahony back in 48. Joe was now running his own diner building firm called Swingle Diners out of Middlesex, NJ and he built them an “L” shaped colonial style diner, the first of this type in the Boston area. The new diner was delivered in August of 1961 and was placed to the left of the older diner. The new Carroll’s Colonial Dining Car with function facilities opened within a few months and the 1948 Carroll’s went to Swingle’s factory in New Jersey where it eventually was rehabbed and resold. It has been operating in Philadelphia since 1964 and currently is called the Domino Diner. I assume the older Brill was demolished at this time.

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Carroll’s Colonial Dining Car being delivered, August, 1961,
note that there are 3 different sections on 3 different trucks.
(courtesy of the Carroll family)

In the 1970’s the Carroll’s decided to try to shake the “diner” image and removed the counter and stools from the building and replaced them with as I recall deuce tables. They rechristened the establishment as Carroll’s Restaurant and operated it until December of 1986. They sold the property at 101 Main Street and it was developed into the current medical office building it is today.

Maury Carroll was quoted in this week’s Transcript that he has been seriously looking at obtaining a lease on the High Street site since October but nothing is firm yet. Several people have mentioned to the newspaper that Carroll’s Diner is fondly remembered and I believe that a new venture from the family would be warmly received.

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The only Carroll’s Diner still in existence, now the Domino Diner
of Philadelphia, PA, 2005 (Larry Cultrera)

2 thoughts on “Possible new restaurant in Medford, Mass. resurrects memories of Carroll’s Diner

  1. Well, well Larry,
    Talk about a spooky blast from the past! For some reason I was talking about Carroll’s Diner today and went searching on the web! Surprise, Surprise! Those were the days! What a time it was, all those “after-clubbing” nights at Carroll’s!
    Did you know Bob Mulcahy died this past March?

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