Blue Belle Diner one step closer to reopening after 11 years

The freshly re-painted  Blue Belle Diner installed on it’s new
foundation adjacent to Dinky’s Restaurant in Shrewsbury, Mass.

This is a follow-up from 2 posts I did earlier, the first post was dated May 8th, 2009 and mentioned Bruce Trotto of Dinky’s Restaurant and Cafe of Shrewsbury, Mass. buying the former Blue Belle Diner (Worcester Lunch Car # 814) and moving it from its storage location in Princeton, Mass. to his restaurant’s parking area at that time. See it here at

The second post was dated June 7th and featured my photos of the Blue Belle on the flatbed trailer at Dinky’s. See that here…

Yesterday, Steve Repucci and myself had breakfast at Blanchard’s 101 Diner in Worcester (again) and Chris Blanchard told us that the Blue Belle was placed on its new foundation the day before. So on the way back home we stopped to check it out. We were very surprised to see the whole diner had been repainted and looked brand-new.

The freshly re-painted  Blue Belle Diner installed on it’s new
foundation adjacent to Dinky’s Restaurant in Shrewsbury, Mass.

Owner Bruce Trotto came out and we introduced ourselves. We mentioned the new paint job and he explained what came about. If you view my photos from June you can see how the 1948 vintage diner’s old porcelain covered panels were a little worse for the wear. He said he had them sand blasted with a very fine grit to even things out and give the new paint something to adhere to. He then had them powder-coated painted. The colors were close to the original and everything looked nice with just some touch-up left to do.

One interesting thing I noticed right away is that he had the front left side corner panel as well as the corresponding panel on the right side were lettered with “Booth Service”, matching the corner panels on the front. Bruce is very enthusiastic about the addition to his existing business and told me it has been in the planning for the 2 years since he bought the diner.

The new “Booth Service” lettering on the left side corner panel.

Bruce also said even though the diner is on the foundation, the installation is going to be tweaked by raising the diner up a few inches taller so there will be more headroom under the end overhangs. Also, the diner will be moved forward  a couple of  inches as well to accomodate the diner’s newly squared up frame to fit the wall of the rear addition (the diner’s rear wall had been slightly bowed prior to the squaring-up).

Proud owner Bruce Trotto in front of the newly installed diner.

As the photos reveal, it will be a while until the diner is open but it certainly is well on its way. We will keep you posted when the diner is open for business. It is located at 70 Clinton Street (Rte. 70), Shrewsbury, Mass. and it’s website is

8 thoughts on “Blue Belle Diner one step closer to reopening after 11 years

  1. I just hope he brings back the music!
    the former owners in worcester used to play ONLY 1940’s swing music and dance and sing to it as they worked their magic with the food, it was wonderful and inspiring.
    the new owner could not go wrong following suit!

    • Doug, That certainly is up to Bruce. I think if he doesn’t do that in his current restaurant (which he has been running successfully for 15 years), he probably won’t do it when the diner is up and running. But I understand how you feel. The one thing I notice with diners changing hands is the atmosphere changes as well, sometimes for the better and sometimes not.

  2. This was my Dad’s and his partner Kirby when this was on Chandler St. The name was originally ‘Kirby’s Bluebell Diner”, then he sold it to my dad and it became ‘Ronnie’s Bluebell Diner”.

    I worker there all my young life, I loved the diner, I am glad to see it back in usage again. I never liked it on Prescott St., the Diner lost it’s real feel and charm, there was way too much Catholic stuff going on inside the Diner, my Dad would have been mortified!

    The New owner now did a marvelous job restoring her, she weighs about 15 tons from what I can remember!

    Thank you!

    • My stepfather was the Clayton (Rip) Kirby you mentioned in your comment. Dad bought the Blue Belle a couple of years after moving back to Worcester after about 20 years of living in the southeast. I remember your Dad but can’t picture you, we may not have ever met. Mom baked deserts for the diner and one of my sisters waited tables but my brother and I were never very involved. Somehow I do remember some of the people who used to come in like Tiny Bubbles, Garshman the tire man and others. The diner never made much money for him, to say the least, but was something on Dad’s “bucket list” that he’d always wanted to try his hand at and we’re all glad he did. Good luck to you.

  3. Hey Dustin;

    I actually did meet all of you, but it was possibly in the first year. Your Step dad was a great guy, your Mom taught my Mom the Recipes and kept making most of the goods. She was also a great cook and added many of her own for a very long time.

    My Dad worked with your step dad for a few years before taking it over. I liked him very much. I remember a sister either blood or half, and your Mom was a wonderful lady.She was the first lady to show me how to use the giant Hobart Mixer in the back room. Worcester Piano and Tiny Bubble taught me how to repair Pianos and appliances.

    Garshman Tires Company changed my Dads Tires every six months for free, he gave them free meatloaf of which he was famous for. The Bluebell still had it’s tires on her when I went down in the basement, that’s where the Jukebox was for the players on the Booths. Chandler street really changed in the years, we were planing on moving it right next to Table Talk Pies in Kelly Square.

    My Dad got Ill and He and Kirby decided to sell it I guess, never remembered what happened. I was going through allot at the time. My Mother almost died from a severe illness. Once it was sold, he was in contact with the New Owner on Prescott Street. The New Owner was a very rude guy. Later when taking my Daughter into the Diner he was again very rude to me and my Daughter who was only 10. Never went back again because I moved away to South Carolina for Seminary School.

    If you ever want to chat with me, write to

    Take Care;


  4. I ate everyday at the blue belle diner when it was on Prescott street .while I attended North high in the 70’s. Then again in the 80’s picking up a trade at boys trade school (machinest).
    This was a great place to get a hot meal at a great price. Cant wait to come back home from Florida to eat at the new and improved blue belle.

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