With the inclusion of RI’s Liberty Elm Diner, it’s time to update the List of diners in the National Register of Historic Places

Liberty Elm Diner, AKA Central Diner of Providence, RI was just
listed in the National Register of Historic Places

I cannot believe it has been almost 2 years since I posted a list of Diners that were in the National Register of Historic Places! In fact that post was March 5, 2008. When I posted it, it seems I missed at least 1 diner that was in the Register (I forgot that it had been added). Since then a couple of more diners have also been added, so I want to update that list.

This search brought up 39 listings either as individual listings or as part of multiple property submissions. So I want to clarify at least for now, up to today what diners are in the Register. I have not listed them in order of the date of listing but here goes…..

Skee’s Diner
589 Main St.  Torrington
Listed Sept. 6, 2002 

Park Dinor
4019 Main St.  Erie
Listed Mar. 18, 2004

O’Mahony Dining Car No. 1107
(operating as the Road Island Diner)
981 W. Weber canyon Rd.  Oakley
Listed Aug. 21, 2009

29 Diner 
10536 Lee Hwy.  Fairfax
Listed- Oct. 29, 1992   
Bill’s Diner 
1 Depot St.  Chatham
Listed Dec. 16, 1996  (Diners of Virginia MPS) 
Burnett’s Diner 
19 S. Main St.  Chatham
Listed Dec. 16, 1996   (Diners of Virginia MPS)

Mickey’s Diner
36 W. 9th St.  St. Paul
Listed Feb. 24, 1983

Agawam Diner
166 Newburyport Turnpike  Rowley
Listed Sept. 22, 1999 (Diners of Mass. MPS)
Jack’s Diner
(operating as Lanna Tai Diner)

901 Main St.  Woburn
Listed Nov. 22, 2000 (Diners of Mass. MPS)
Al Mac’s Diner 
135 President Ave.  Fall River
Listed Dec. 20, 1999 (Diners of Mass. MPS)
The Rosebud  (Rosebud Diner)
381 Summer St.   Somerville
Listed Sept. 22, 1999 (Diners of Mass. MPS)
Corner Lunch 
133 Lamartine St., Worcester
Listed, Nov. 15, 2000  (Diners of Mass. MPS)
Miss Worcester Diner 
302 Southbridge St.  Worcester
Listed Nov. 21, 2003 (Diners of Mass. MPS)
Boulevard Diner
155 Shrewsbury St.  Worcester
Listed Nov. 22, 2000 (Diners of Mass. MPS)
Chadwick Square Diner
95 rear Prescott St.  Worcester
Listed Nov. 26, 2003 (Diners of Mass. MPS)
Ann’s Diner
(operating as Pat’s Diner)
11 Bridge Rd. (US 1)  Salisbury
Listed Dec. 10, 2003 (Diners of Mass. MPS)
Miss Toy Town Diner
(operating as the Blue Moon Diner)
102 Main St.  Gardner
Listed Dec. 4, 2003 (Diners of Mass. MPS)
Capitol Diner
431 Union St.  Lynn
Listed Sept. 22, 1999 (Diners of Mass. MPS)
Shawmut Diner
943 Shawmut Ave.  New Bedford
Listed Nov. 28, 2003 (Diners of Mass. MPS)
Salem Diner
70 1/2 Loring Ave.  Salem
Listed Sept. 22, 1999 (Diners of Mass. MPS)
New Bay Diner
(Operating as the Rte. 66 Diner)
950 Bay St.  Springfield
Listed Dec. 4, 2003 (Diners of Mass.MPS)
Al’s Diner
14 Yelle St.  Chicopee
Listed Dec. 14, 2000 (Diners of Mass. MPS)
Miss Florence Diner 
99 Main St.  Northampton
Listed Sept. 22, 1999 (Diners of Mass. MPS)
Casey’s Diner
36 South Ave.  Natick
Listed Sept. 22,1999 (Diners of Mass. MPS)
Whit’s Diner
(operating as Lloyd’s Diner)
184A Fountain St.  Framingham
Listed Dec. 4, 2003 (Diners of Mass. MPS)
Wilson’s Diner
507 Main St.  Waltham
Listed Sept. 22, 1999 (Diners of Mass. MPS)
Town Diner
627 Mount Auburn St.  Watertown
Listed Sept. 22, 1999 (Diners of Mass. MPS)
Ted’s Diner  (Now demolished)
67 Main St.  Milford
Listed Nov. 29, 2000 (Diners of Mass. MPS)
Monarch Diner
(operating as Four Sisters Owl Diner)
246 Appleton St.  Lowell
Listed Nov. 28, 2003 (Diners of Mass. MPS)

New York
Halfway Diner
(operating as the Village Diner)
39 N. Broadway  Red Hook
Listed Jan. 7, 1988
Munson Diner 
Lake St. (NY 55)  Liberty
Listed April 12, 2006
Lil’s Diner (Miss Albany Diner)
893 Broadway  Albany
Listed Nov. 6, 2000

North Carolina
Sam’s Diner
2008 S. Virginia Dare Trail  Kill Devil Hills
Listed Jan. 27, 1999

Silk City Diner #4655
(operating as Kim’s Classic Diner)
303 Washington St.  Sabina
Listed Aug. 10, 2005 

Miss Bellows Falls Diner
90 Rockingham St.  Bellows Falls
Listed Feb. 15, 1983 

Rhode Island
Modern Diner
364 East Ave.  Pawtucket
Listed Oct. 19, 1978
Poirier’s Diner
1467 Westminster St.  Providence
Listed July 17, 2003
Central Diner
(operating as the Liberty Elm Diner)
777 Elmwood Ave.  Providence
Listed Jan. 13, 2010

Davies’ Chuck Wagon Diner
9495 W. Colfax Ave.  Lakewood
Listed July 2, 1997    

There seems to be some confusion, either by diner owners or other interested people about which diners are actually listed on the National Register of Historic Places. I will site three examples of claims in this matter.

1. The last 2 operators of Worcester Lunch Car #690, currently operating as the Lunch Box Diner 0f Malden, Mass. have told me that the owner of the property (as well as the diner) imparted to them that their diner is in the Register. I did some investigating and figured out that it was in fact included in the research for the Multiple Listing Submission survey (along with a selected group of diners in Massachusetts) that represent different styles of diners but up to now it still has not been placed in the Register.

2. I have read for years that Collins’ Diner in Caanan, CT claims to be listed in the Register. In fact, they are only part of an Historic District that is listed in the Register (not individually listed).

3. I recently saw that Brian O’Rourke of O’Rourke’s Diner has been quoted that his diner is also in the Register, (it’s not).

Take note that one of the diners, (Ted’s Diner) is actually still in the Multiple Listing Submission for Massachusetts even though it was demolished shortly after being placed on the Register. Also, there was one other diner that made it to the Register years ago, the Clarksville Diner formerly of Decorah, Iowa (by way of Clarksville, NJ). This diner was removed from the Register after it was sold and subsequently moved to France.

Also, I thought there were more diners from Virginia included in the National Register, but a search of their database only brings up the three I have listed above. The Diners of Virginia MPS survey included virtually all the diners in the state but to the best of my knowledge, only those three made it to the Register. If someone knows anything more concrete on this, I would be happy to ammend this list!

Sneak preview of Miss Mendon Diner

Miss Mendon Diner, exterior photo Jan. 17, 2010 by Larry Cultrera

The newly refurbished Miss Mendon Diner located on Route 16 in the midst of the sprawling Imperial Cars multi-dealership complex in Mendon, Mass. will have its Grand Opening this coming Wednesday (January 20th). The Miss Mendon Diner, a 1950 vintage, bright red Worcester Lunch Car (Car #823) had spent all of its operating life way up by the Canadian border in Newport, Vermont as the Miss Newport Diner. It closed in Vermont a number of years ago and was subsequently sold to Dave Pritchard of Salisbury, Mass. who had it transported to his storage yard where it sat for a few more years.

Antique Neon sign that was bought on Ebay. Kevin Meehan had it refurbished with a new paint-job, lettering and neon.

Pritchard sold the diner around 2 years ago to Kevin Meehan, the owner of Imperial Cars who brought it out to Mendon, a few miles west of Milford, Mass. Meehan spent a considerable amount of money to set the diner up on a new foundation with a good size kitchen/restroom building that also has room for 4 more booths with a handicap-accessable entryway.

Meehan did this place up right, he replaced the original porcelain panels that said “Newport” with newly painted panels that said “Mendon”. The paint job was so good it really fooled me, I thought it was porcelain when I visited the site in September. The interior of the diner got a sprucing-up as well with a newly installed replacement ceramic tile floor, which though different from the original small blue ceramic tile, compliments the natural woodwork that Worcester Lunch Car Company was famous for.

Miss Mendon Diner, interior photo Jan. 17, 2010 by Larry Cultrera

Miss Mendon Diner, interior photo Jan. 17, 2010 by Larry Cultrera

The addition that houses the 4 new booths also has the same tile floor but more importantly also has woodwork and booths that replicate what Worcester would have done perfectly! The whole place also features art deco light fixtures that seem to go well, even though it is not what Worcester would have used. The original stools have been stripped and re-chromed making them appear brand-new.

Miss Mendon Diner, interior photo showing dining addition with
replicated woodwork and booths, Jan. 17, 2010 by Larry Cultrera

Miss Mendon Diner, interior photo showing dining addition with
replicated woodwork and booths, Jan. 17, 2010 by Larry Cultrera

As I mentioned above, the diner will be open to the public this coming Wednesday and Doug “V.B.” Goudie of Boston’s Fox 25 Morning News will be there live with his “Diner Wednesdays” segment along with WTKK, 96.9 FM Talk’s Michael Graham. They expect to be fairly busy all day and ask that customers who show-up be patient.

To help the staff prepare for the onslaught of customers, General Manager Michael O’Donovan along with owner Kevin Meehan have held “mock-openings” for the last few days and we were lucky enough to get an invite for today! Denise & I drove out to Acton and picked up my travelling buddy, Steve Repucci and got out to Mendon. There were a handfull of invited customers on hand and I must say, a very friendly and capable staff!

I also met Bill Gladwin of Mendon. Bill and his wife were invited guests as well (I kept on looking at him and thought, boy he could be Mike Engle’s twin brother). Bill’s  website…… 
 http://anystandard.net/features/missmendon.html features a page about the Miss Mendon has some of the first photos I saw of the diner back in August which prompted me to make the trip out on Labor Day to see the progress with my own eyes.

So to get back to the Miss Mendon, as I said the staff was very attentive and friendly. The food was great! They brought out some freshly made raspberry danish as well as maple pecan danish, which was extremely light and flaky! Steve had their Smoked Salmon Hash with Poached Eggs, Toast and Homefries while Denise had a fresh, hot biscuit with butter (she eats light) and I had my usual 2 Eggs over hard with Sausage, Toast and Homefries. We were all satisfied with the quality of the food and the service. I highly recommend that anyone out in the area will not be disappointed!

Miss Mendon Diner, exterior photo Jan. 17, 2010 by Larry Cultrera

I was pleased to meet both Michael O’Donovan and Kevin Meehan this morning and I complimented them on their efforts to resurrect this beautiful diner. Kevin, in my opinion certainly chose a very capable and talented individual (in Michael) to be his General Manager! Michael’s attention to detail in helping to set the diner up, both physically and in the hiring of staff, not to mention his creation of the wonderful website at….
http://www.missmendondiner.com/  is a credit to Meehan’s search for the right personnel to man the operation!

The Miss Mendon Diner’s address is 16 Uxbridge Road (Rte. 16), Mendon, MA o1756. Telephone is 508-634-3000. Operating hours are Sunday thru Thursday 6 AM to 11 PM, Friday and Saturday 6 AM to 2 AM. Check out the website for all menu and other info.

Tony & Ann’s Pizza and the Rosebud Diner

The new location for Tony & Ann’s Pizza, Dracut, Mass.

I was checking Facebook yesterday morning and saw that Tony & Ann’s Pizza was reopening at 11:00 AM after a 7 year hiatus. I posted about this place last month, see it here… https://dinerhotline.wordpress.com/2009/12/12/legendary-tony-anns-pizza-to-reopen-after-7-year-hiatus/ . Denise and I were going out for an errand shortly after I saw the F.B. post, so we stopped for a mid-morning hot chocolate at Honey Dew Donuts on the way to do the errand in Wakefield.

With the errand done I said lets take a ride up to Dracut to see if we could try a Tony & Ann’s Pizza. Well we made it up there by 11:30 or so and the place was mobbed. In fact they could have used some traffic control from the Dracut Police Dept. I spoke with a lady who had come out of the store carrying 2 pizzas and she said it took 30 minutes just to order and another 45 to get them! We stepped inside for a second and it was just a crush of people. Denise said she wasn’t waiting and I concurred.

I had a hunch it might be crazy and I was right. So maybe another visit will be in order within the next 2 or 3 weeks when the craziness dies down. I spoke with Bob Philpot, a Tony & Ann’s devotee on Facebook yesterday afternoon and he got his pizza after a 2 hour wait. I asked him if it was worth it and he gave an enthusiastic thumbs-up. Charlie Terenzio, another facebook friend read my comment and answered he would wait at least a week before partaking of his favorite pizza!

Pizza at the Rosebud Diner’s Bar & Grill instead

Later in the afternoon I decided I still needed a “pizza fix” and asked Denise if she wanted to go over to the Rosebud Diner in Somerville. We have been meaning to try out the pizza they serve in the Bar & Grill behind the diner. So we went and sat with owners Bill & Helen and ordered a cheese pizza. We were delighted with what turned out to be a very tasty thin crust “bar pie”!
We were both hooked, and believe me Denise is kind of particular when it comes to pizza, she really liked it!

If you go down the walkway next to the side door of the diner,
it leads to the entrance to the Bar & Grill.

I highly recommend that if you are ever in Davis Square Somerville and visiting the Rosebud Diner, check out the Bar & Grill (which you can enter from the diner or thru the entrance to the right behind the diner). They open the Bar & Grill at 4:00 PM, Monday thru Friday and at 5:00 PM on the weekends. There are other items available on the menu that are not available in the diner and they have a full bar with some great draft and bottled beer on hand to go with the food.

Miss Mendon Diner announces upcoming Grand Opening!

Photo courtesy of Michael O’Donovan and the Miss Mendon Diner

Back on this past Labor Day weekend, I posted about driving out to see the progress of the Miss Mendon Diner, located on Route 16 in Mendon, Massachusetts. See here for that post…
https://dinerhotline.wordpress.com/2009/09/07/2009-labor-day-weekend-diner-updates/. In that post I mentioned about the history of this diner which was formerly the Miss Newport Diner of Newport, VT, (the diner’s only operating location since it was brand-new in 1950).

It had been reportedly sold to Kevin Meehan, the owner of Imperial Cars, a multi-brand auto dealership in Mendon within the last 2 years after spending a number of years in storage at a location in Salisbury, Mass. After visiting and shooting some great photos of it, I ended up talking with Kevin on the phone shortly after and he told me he hoped to open the diner by November. Well, as we have seen in the past good things take time.

About a month and a half later I got a call from Michael O’Donovan who had just been hired by Kevin Meehan to be the general manager of the Miss Mendon. We have been in contact  since and I have been kept informed of the progress. In fact there are some photos of mine on their website…
http://www.missmendondiner.com/ , check them out under photos/history. Michael also has started a Facebook fan page for the diner and been trying to keep people informed that way with their effort to open the diner.

It was finally announced within the last 24 hours that the diner will have its Grand Opening on Wednesday, January 20th at 6:00 AM!

Photo courtesy of Michael O’Donovan and the Miss Mendon Diner

Follow-up to Greensboro, NC Paramount diner post

Last month I posted about a rare (for the area) Paramount diner still existing down in Greensboro, NC.  See….. https://dinerhotline.wordpress.com/2009/12/09/a-rare-paramount-diner-in-north-carolina/   Originally operated as the Southern Queen Hot Shoppe when it was brand-new in the late 1940’s,  it now is part of the LaBamba Mexican Restaurant. Debra Jane Seltzer had clued me into its existence by sending me 2 photos from Robby Delius. These photos were only exterior views which showed the outside of the diner was fairly intact.

December, 2009 exterior photo by Mike Engle

I commented that if anyone was ever in the area, I hoped that they could check out the interior and get back to me on its level of originality that might be left. Shortly thereafter, Mike Engle contacted me to let me know he was going south toward Florida and was going to detour over to Greensboro on the way to check it out!

Well sure enough, he did make it down to Greensboro and did take some shots of the place. I personally would have gone for more detail showing more of the interior but I understand that there were patrons on the left hand end of the diner that Mike did not want to intrude upon by taking photos of them.

Interior photo showing the original Paramount clock on the hood now flanked with flat-screen tv’s, December, 2009 photo by Mike Engle

Interior view showing right front corner of the diner.
December 2009 photo by Mike Engle. 

According to Mike’s photos, the tile floor is  not original and the tile that would have been under the rounded banquettes and under the windows has been changed to wooden panneling. The counter has been moved more towards the center away from the backbar. Other than that it still looks good!

December 2009 exterior photo by Mike Engle.

I recently read that the State of North Carolina has banned smoking in restaurants and bars which I found interesting because this diner was being used for a bar and smoking section of LaBamba’s Restaurant. So now if you go, the air inside the diner will be smoke-free!

Thanks to Mike Engle for checking the place out for us, we really appreciate it!