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…… 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….  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.

4 thoughts on “Sneak preview of Miss Mendon Diner

  1. “Meehan did this place up right”

    High praise coming from you, Larry! It’s good to hear this kind of positive report from someone who really knows about this stuff, and who has seen too many restoration projects miss the mark.

    Thanks for this report and especially for including all those great pictures! I’m going to miss the opening but will get out there as soon as I can. I am very happy that we have a new/old Worcester Lunch Car Company diner in Massachusetts!

  2. “Meehan did this place up right”

    After seeing these photos, I very much agree. After seeing far too many Elvis and Marilyn joints, it’s refreshing to see a Worcester diner interior that actually looks like a Worcester. Definitely RoadsideFans-approved.

  3. Larry, There are a lot of photos of the Miss Mendon on the Flickr website and a lot of customer comments on the Facebook website. I hope to visit sometime in February.

  4. I recently went here for lunch and for the diner to be absoloutly awesome. Looks clean and sparkling. The food and service on the other hand was the worst I have ever encountered. I ordered the sloppy joe and it took 35 minutes from order to serve. The bread was old the taste was VERY bland and the potato chips that were given to me were all smashed and stale. I would not recommend this place to anyone. Only go here if you like to waste time and money.

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