I had heard that Bobby’s Girl Diner of New Hampton, NH has been closed recently and that it might not be reopening. Well the rumors and rumblings are certainly true with the news coming out of the Lakes Region. The Citizen of Laconia (newspaper) has reported that the diners owners, due to a couple of reasons have decided that the business is permenantly closed and the building will go up for auction next month.
Bobby’s Girl Diner was the last diner completed by the Worcester Lunch Car Company (WLC # 850). Its original operating location was on U.S. Rte. 6 in Johnston, RI, It was known as Lloyd’s Diner and had been at that location until 1988 when it was moved.
It ended up for 2 or 3 years in South Weymouth, Mass. where it was attached to a night club called Sh-Booms. Sh-Booms evolved into another type of night club and the diner was disguised briefly until that too closed.
The diner then was sold to John Keith who was brokering diners for a couple of years and Keith almost sold it to the Fat Boys Diner chain in England. That deal fell through and eventually Alexis Stewart (Martha’s daughter) bought the diner with hopes of setting it up in Bridgehampton, LI as The Delish Diner. But after moving it down to Long Island, the diner sat there in an empty field for a couple of years. It actually got broken into there and 2 stools on the left end of the counter were physically removed.
Next came Bob & Gloria Merrill who bought the diner and had it moved to New Hampton, NH to set it up as Bobby’s Girl Diner. I caught up with them shortly after the diner got on site. My wife Denise’s sister and brother-in-law lived within a stones throw of it at that time so on a visit to their home, I stopped in to see the progress.
They told me about the ripped-off stools and how they were trying to find replacements. They had talked to someone who assured them that the stools in the diner were not original equipment. In fact most Worcester Lunch Cars sported different stools so I could see how someone would think they were not originals as these were more streamlined then the normal stools.
I looked at the stools and told the Merrills that I believed they were in fact original to the diner. They asked me how I knew and I told them that I happened to have 2 stools out of the former Georgetown Diner (WLC #849) which had also been brokered by John Keith. They were identical to what they had. Keith had replaced all the stools in the Georgetown due to the fact that it had been modified when it was operated as Randy’s Roast Beef to serve a limited menu and the owners removed all but 3 or 4 stools at the counter.
Keith had traded them to me for another artifact I had in my possession and they were just sitting at my mother’s house in the cellar. So I offered them to the Merrills for short money and they were extremely happy to acquire them and complete the diner.
Anyway, now the diner is facing the next chapter of it’s life and I for one am anxious to see what happens. Here is the text from the newspaper article…
Bobby’s Girl auction set for mid-July
By CASONDRA MARDEN
Citing the economic climate and changes in zoning, the owners of Bobby’s Girl Diner are leaving the business, and the classic diner on Route 104 is due to be sold at auction next month.
The Elliard family, which ran the diner over the last seven summers, said that because of changes in zoning they were no longer able to develop the close to 12 acres that the diner now sits on. Because further development was hindered, they could no longer afford to operate the business.
The diner is scheduled to be auctioned off on Tuesday, July 14, Bobby’s Girl Diner will go up for auction by Meredith Village Savings Bank.
The Elliard family would like to thank their customers and guests for their support over the years.
“We will miss you all,” said Mary, Ron, Jonathan, and Alysha Elliard in a statement about the closing.
The diner was made in 1956 by the Worcester Diner Co. and was the last diner the company built. Its original location was Johnston, R.I., where it was known as Lloyd’s.
The diner was later moved to Bridgehampton, N.Y., on Long Island where it was watched over by Robert and Gloria Merrill. After three years of sitting on blocks, the diner made one last move to New Hampshire where restorations took place. Bobby’s Girl diner opened its doors on Sept. 26, 1994.
Bobby’s Girl Diner was known locally for its clever slogans and as a destination for bike week fun.