I, like a lot of other people had seen recent mentions in the news of the rumored reopening of the Star Diner in Rumford, RI. This diner, 0riginally known as Keenan’s Diner is a 1950’s vintage DeRaffele diner that had operated for years (since the early 60’s I believe) as the China Star Restaurant. The diner was altered very little by the people running it as a Chinese restaurant. It retained most of it’s originality both inside and out. It was bought by the brother and sister team of Quentin Sanford and Bethany Sanford Smith a number of years ago and went through a minor restoration to be readied for a reopening, which unfortunately was delayed for quite some time.
Glenn Wells of RoadsideFans saw the aforementioned newspaper article and posted it on his Yahoo Groups messageboard. The article told about an independent movie being filmed at the diner recently and buried toward the end of the piece was the blurb that the diner was reopening.
I immediately heard from Paula Walsh who had emailed both myself and Gary Thomas asking what we knew. I told her she knew as much as I did. Well it looks like Paula did some investigating and emailed me yesterday that the diner is indeed open now. This diner is about the most pristine example of a DeRaffele diner of this vintage, probably rivaling the American Dream Diner in Harrisburg, PA (the first diner I ever shot a photo of)
Paula says the diner’s operating hours are as follows…
Monday – Wednesday: 6:00am to 2:00pm
Thursday – Saturday: 6:00am to 8:00pm
Sunday: 6:00am to 1:00pm
You can find this diner located at 140 Newport Avenue (Route 1A),
Rumford, RI, just south of Pawtucket. Phone number is 401-434-8899
2 thoughts on “Star Diner finally reopens in Rumford, RI”
i grew up about 10 minutes from this place and remember it as the china star restaurant, but was so disappointed when it was closed for so long. i always joked that i’d love to buy it and reopen it as a diner. i’ve heard rumors for a long time as well that it was reopening, but wondered if it would ever happen. i was afraid it was going to be torn down.
this morning i was at the drive thru at the honeydew donuts right next door and noticed in my rearview mirror a family walking to their car, all holding take out containers. i immediately shifted focus to the restaurant and noticed the parking lot and the inside were packed! i was very excited to finally see it back open. i will hopefully get a chance to check it out next weekend. i can’t wait to see that wonderful place hopping like i remember it!
jamie lynn, pawtucket RI
Hi I am Quentin’s goddaughter and second cousin and I would just like to say that I ate the first steak burger ever cooked there at the Star Diner ever since my cousin bought it. Let me tell you it was amazing. Charbroiled, too.
I also designed the Welcome sign that is hanging behind where Quentin sits at the register. This is a truly amazing place and oh my mom is one of the waitresses so tip them well!!!