Worcester Lunch Cars No. 821 thru 828

Following up on last weeks post, I decided to show the next group of Worcester Lunch Cars. As I said at the end of the last post, Worcester Lunch Car No. 820 the former Stadium Diner of Everett, Mass. (aka the Miss Everett) was destroyed in the early 1970’s. But WLC No’s. 821 thru 828 are still in existence although not all are close to original condition or serving food.

Miss Adams Diner, WLC No.821


Miss Adams Diner at its only operating location, 53 Park St., Adams, Mass.

The Miss Adams Diner was delivered to Joseph Wilusz on December 7th, 1949 and it is still being used as a restaurant. When I first found it in the early 1980’s, it was known as the Peir 53 Restaurant. It had already gained its stone facade (instead of the porcelain steel panels) at that point. The interior was fairly original though. It has since operated under various names and had its interior trashed to a degree in the intervening years but recently went back to the original name since the property was sold. We are hopeful that new operator Philomene Rivard will return some of the lustre to this late model Worcester out in the western part of the Bay State.

Carmen’s Diner, WLC No. 822


WLC No. 822 now operating as the Computer Exchange on U.S. Rte.1,
728 Washington Street in Attleboro, Mass.

Originally known as Carmen’s Diner, it was delivered to its first operating location on Mechanic Street in Leominster, Mass. on November 1st, 1949. Sometime later it made it down to its current location in Attleboro, where it was known as the Mayflower Diner. When I first spotted this in the early 1980’s it was being used as a Ceramics Studio. Later it was a clothing store known as Bogie & Bacall’s. It is now a computer store and the interior is completely gone. You can also see from the above photo that the barrel roof is hidden.

Miss Mendon Diner, WLC No. 823


The Miss Mendon Diner, located on Rte. 16 in Mendon, Mass

Regular readers of this blog know that the Miss Mendon Diner in Mendon, Mass. was reopened this past January after being in storage for a number of years. Originally called the Miss Newport Diner, it was delivered to Noble Croft on May 16th, 1950 at its first operating location on East Main St. in Newport, VT. It operated there until it was moved in 2003 to Salisbury, Mass. where it was being stored. Kevin Meehan, owner of Imperial Cars bought the diner in 2008 and started the process of bringing this beauty back to life.

Ann’s Diner, WLC No. 824


Currently operating as Pat’s Diner, it is seen in this shot prior to the porcelain steel panels being removed by the current owner.

Ann’s Diner is now Pat’s Diner. Delivered on April 14th, 1950 to James F. Evans, it replaced an earlier monitor-roof Worcester Car that had been here for 2 years on U.S. Rte. 1 (11 Bridge Rd.) in Salisbury, Mass. It has a unique interior set-up, there is the typical counter and stools with 4 booths on the right-hand end of the diner with a partition just to the left of the front entrance. There is a large pocket sliding door in this partition to access a dining room that houses 6 booths. After Pat Archambault purchased the diner a few years ago, she removed the exterior porcelain steel panels and replaced them with t-111 wooden panels. other than that the diner is probably 90% original inside and out.

Bluebonnet Diner, WLC No. 825


Bluebonnet Diner at its only operating location 324 King St. (Rte’s. 5 & 10)
in Northampton, Mass. (Delivered May 12th, 1950)

The Bluebonnet Diner is the first of 3 diners that were built with this interesting configuration. It was built with 5 windows flanked by a door at each end of the front facade. The other 2 that were designed like this were the Miss Beverly Diner (No. 828) and Arthur’s Diner (No. 830). Eventually the owners of the Bluebonnet Diner wanted more room and decided to add onto the diner. They did this rather ingeneously by removing the left end wall and swinging it out to be level with the front facade. Then they made the addition behind this new front section. You can get a feel for what was done by looking closely at the details behind the windows in the wooden entryway as seen in the above photo. The diner not only has the added dining room but also a large function facility behind.

Jigger’s Diner, WLC No. 826


Jigger’s Diner, 145 Main St. (U.S. Rte. 1) in East Greenwich, RI
The diner was delivered here on June 21st, 1950 to Leonard Boren.

Jigger’s Diner during a small stretch in the 1980’s was completely gutted and used for storage by a neighboring paint store. It looked like this could be the end for this in-town diner until Carol Shriner got her hands on this and actually brought it back to life. Only someone with a trained eye could possibly see what is original and what is not. Carol has since moved on to other ventures but the diner is still going strong. Ordering the johnny cakes here is certainly a treat.

Peterboro Diner, WLC No. 827


Peterboro Diner as it currently looks. The original windows have been replaced. Located at 10 Depot St. just off School and Main Sts. in downtown
Peterboro, the diner was delivered on September 20th, 1950.

When I first visited this diner in the early 1980’s, it was still being run by Edward Fontaine, a brother of the original owner, Milton Fontaine. The diner was a perfectly preserved stand-alone lunch car. It was built with a partitioned-off kitchen on the right-hand end of the building as well as having the grill behind the counter. Within a couple of years the diner was sold to new owners who immediately made changes. They removed the partition and auxiliary kitchen, added new booths in this section and a large addition off the back of the diner. The large addition had room for a new kitchen, restrooms as well as more seating. They removed the grill and adjacent work station and cut a door to the new kitchen. Since then they upgraded to newer generic booths and have more recently changed the windows. I was intitially appalled at the changes, but as the years have gone by, I have mellowed my feelings and now think this place has a great small-town diner ambience.

Miss Beverly Diner, WLC No. 828


The Miss Beverly Diner as Buffalo Bill’s Roast Beef located at
386 Cabot St., Rte. 1A in Beverly, Mass. It has since been changed to a Subway Sandwich Shop. This diner was delivered on December 14th, 1950.

I recall when the Miss Beverly Diner was still the Miss Beverly Diner. This was back in the early to mid 1970’s. I never went in there although I’m sure I had plenty of opportunities at that time, as my sister lived right around the corner then. By the time I was photographing diners in 1980 the place had become Buffalo Bill’s Roast Beef. As seen in the above photo, the exterior was bricked-up under the windows and a mansard roof was built covering the original roof. Other than that the exterior changes could have been reversed. The interior was better as they still had the counter but just like Beachmont Roast Beef  (from the last post) the counter was raised to be a take-out type sevring counter. The stools were also removed and I believe the booths were changed also. It stayed this way until a few years ago when it had been closed for a short time. Then unfortunately, Subway Sandwich Shops bought the building and completely gutted the interior! If this had not happened, the place could have easily been brought back as a working diner.

This ends this series of consecutively numbered Worcester Lunch Cars as No’s 829 and 830 no longer exist. No’s. 831 thru 835 are extant, No. 836 is probably gone. No’s 837 thru 839 are still around while No. 840 is not. It is like this thru the 840’s where some are still with us and some are not. The last Worcester Lunch Car out of the factory was No. 850, currently the Route 104 Diner in New Hampton, NH.

5 thoughts on “Worcester Lunch Cars No. 821 thru 828

  1. Larry- always great to see the Worcesters, your post has given me the push to write about our visit to the Blue Bonnet with the Retro Roadkids! While I drove past Jiggers on the way home from my last visit I was pleased to see folks gathered around waiting to get in for Sunday breakfast, knowing they’d take my spot at the counter. I was looking forward to visiting and ordering johnny cakes, but our pancake adventure at the Blue Bonnet still had me stuffed. Jiggers is definitely on the map for my next visit as Retro Roadnephew sees me and yells ” Auntie Beth is here! We can go have pancakes in a diner!” and who can resist that?🙂

  2. Larry-

    Do you know if there are any archival drawings for any or the Worcesters in existence either in private hands or accessible to the public (in, say, a university or municipal library special collection?
    Or have any been reproduced and made available?
    In any case, it’s great to see the photos and read the histories. Thank you.

    Pete

    • Hi Pete, The Worcester Historical Museum has an archive of old drawings. I have seen quite a few and as I recall there is not a lot of detail, as opposed to what real architectural drawings might have. I have a copy of a drawing for WLC No. 849. It is quite large (basically not scanable) unless you bring it to a place with large format scanning capability.

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