Skip’s Restaurant of Chelmsford, Massachusetts will close this summer. From what I can piece together, it was originally opened as Skip’s Diner possibly in 1930 and was bought by the Burliss and Gefteas families either in 1946 or 1947 (the postcard says 1947 while another report says 1946) and was originally housed in a built on-site diner type structure that eventually was re-built into the large brick-encased building housing the restaurant, function rooms and Embers Lounge. Skip’s since has become a local landmark featuring a fancy neon sign and noted for serving breakfast, lunch and dinners to quite a few generations of customers over the years.
Fred Gefteas, Jr. was quoted as saying if you told his late dad that you were paying between $7,000.00 and $9,000.00 a month for electricity, he would have said “close the place”! The families are selling out to a developer who has plans for a strip mall which will include a restaurant, coffee house and bank.
I personally have patronized this restaurant a couple of times over the years ( I’ll probably get there again before they close, hint: this Saturday possibly) and have found it pleasant, a real local hangout with it’s share of regular customers. Ironically, I used to work with Steve Gefteas, a cousin of Skip’s owners whose family runs the New Turnpike Cafe located on Route 138 in Canton, Mass. Steve told me that when his family bought the Turnpike Cafe in the early 50’s, there was a small diner attached to the building. Reportedly not in great shape, they had the diner torn down when they rebuilt the rest of the structure.