Notes from the Hotline, 11/25/08

Salem Diner has small fire

Things have been a little quiet but I will mention that last week it was reported that the Salem Diner (Salem, Mass.) had a small mishap that was appeared in the Salem Evening News. Apparently some workmen were removing the porcellain panels on the streamlined end of the diner to install much needed insulation. While they were doing this they were using some sort of power tool to remove screws. In the process the tool created some sparks which ignited a small fire in the wooden framework of the diner. The fire department was called and knocked the fire right down. The diner was closed for the rest of the day but reopened the next morning.

Denise and I went there for breakfast on Saturday morning and there was no evidence that anything ever happened. Our regular waitress Janey said that she was there the day after the fire and there wasn’t even any smokey type smell one would think would linger. She did mention that the streamlined end commonly referred to as Pesky’s Corner (for Johnny Pesky of the Boston Red Sox, a regular customer) is now much warmer due to the added insulation.

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Dave Waller updates fate of Chelmsford, Massachusetts’ Skip’s Restaurant

If you don’t check the comments section at the bottom of the page here, you may have missed that Dave Waller left a comment. Basically, he gave me an update of the fate of Skip’s Restaurant in Chelmsford, Mass. Skip’s, a longtime local favorite started out as a regular diner that expanded over the years. Housed in a large brick building along with it’s companion Embers Lounge, it featured some great food and atmosphere as well as some well maintained neon signage. When it was announced earlier this year that the restaurant would be closing, some of us wondered what would happen to the great old signs when the building was demolished. Here is Dave’s update repeated from the comments….

They will be bulldozing Skips next week, but at least the neon signs will be saved. “The Embers” will be displayed in the Johnson & Wales Culinary Museum in Providence, and the rest will be restored and go into my neon sign collection where, hopefully, I can exhibit them in a future show.

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Reports from the Miss Portland Diner

I have gotten reports in the comments section at the bottom of the page from different people about the newly reopened Miss Portland Diner. All of them rave about the food and the service. Bob Higgins reports that the added-on dining room compliments the diner, in fact it looks like they got someone to replicate the benches like the ones in the diner and made a bunch for the dining room. The one drawback that Bob mentions is that you normally cannot just seat yourself. The hostess seats you according to the next available spot which may or maynot be in the diner. As far as I’m concerned, a small diner (even with a dining room attached here in New England should allow you to sit where you want. Anyway, I am going to find out for myself when Denise and I go there on Friday morning to check it out. I’ll let you know what I think this weekend!

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