Joe’s Diner of Taunton, Mass. gets some nice press

Joe’s Diner, Taunton, MA   (Ted Boardman photograph)

Joe’s Diner of Taunton, Massachusetts got a nice write-up yesterday in the Taunton Daily Gazette. This is a diner I am very familiar with especially in its previous incarnations as Diane’s Diner and the Low Bridge Diner when it was in Everett, Mass. This 1940 vintage Sterling Diner started life as Ingram’s Diner (my spelling of that name may be off). After it closed in the late 1980’s as Diane’s Diner a local guy (can’t remember his name) bought the diner and moved it into a storage yard, down a block on Second Street from its old operating location at the corner of Spring Street. He cleaned it up a little but turned right around and sold it to its current owners.

Here is the piece by Gerry Tuoti, a Staff Writer for the Daily Gazette…..

Diner is the place to eat, chat

Taunton — “Good people, good food and good portions” are what bring regular customers like John Dunderdale to Joe’s Diner day after day. Often eating at Joe’s three times a week, Dunderdale ranks the meatloaf and the fish and chips as his favorite menu items. Kenny Babbitt and his wife, Veronica, opened the diner 22 years ago. Their daughter, Christine Periera, is now also a part owner.

Babbitt, a lifelong Taunton resident, explained how he got involved in the restaurant business. Years ago, he used to work for Hickey’s Diner. But when the owner decided to go out of business, Babbitt didn’t want to see the city without a diner. It was then that he saw an opportunity to open his own business and fill a culinary void. It wasn’t long before Babbitt came across a 1940 Sterling diner at a salvage yard in Everett.

“I bought it, brought it here and had it restored,” he said. Ever since, the diner has sat at 51 Broadway. The restaurant is named after Babbitt’s late father-in-law, Joseph Almeida, who helped get the establishment off the ground. Today, a picture of Almeida sits atop the refrigerator in the restaurant. Joyce Hackett has been with Joe’s Diner since the early days. “I make all the specialties and desserts,” she said.

In addition to diner staples like meatloaf and homemade pies, Hackett also considers stuffed cabbage, stuffed peppers, roast pork and chicken pot pie among the signature items at Joe’s. “We have everything you could imagine, and it’s all made from scratch,” she said. “There are no short cuts.”

Patron Bob Burt stops in for a bite to eat at Joe’s Diner at least once a day.  “Most days I come twice, for breakfast and lunch,” he said. He likes the food — particularly the fish and chips on Fridays — but doesn’t go to Joe’s to simply eat a meal. He goes to catch up with friends. “It’s a friendly atmosphere,” he said. “It’s like a family.”

Joe’s, which serves breakfast all day every day, is open from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. seven days a week. It has additional weekend hours to capture the late-night crowd. Joe’s Diner is also open from 11 p.m. Friday to 1 p.m. Saturday, and 11 p.m. Saturday to 1 p.m. Sunday. Babbitt is also considering adding Friday evening hours to draw people in for dinner. “It’s always a challenge trying to stay ahead of things and keep up with the times,” he said. But so far, the success of Joe’s Diner has exceeded Babbitt’s original expectations. He credits the loyalty of his customers. For the immediate future, Babbitt hopes for more of the same.
“We just want to keep running smooth, the way we’ve been doing it all along,” he said.