New storage spot for Bel-Aire Diner

As I posted a few days ago, the Bel-Aire Diner (Peabody, Mass.) was relocated to the back right corner of the property where it operated since the early 1950’s. Owner John Kallas had been quoted as saying if they did not sell the diner in a reasonable period of time, he would move it to the back of the lot and possibly shrink-wrap it. Well, as construction progresses on the new building, it was determined that the diner was now in the way so now it sits in a small, fenced-in corner with its detached entryway standing a few feet away. Here are some photos I shot Friday afternoon after work…..


Bel-Aire Diner in storage, photo March 25, 2011 by Larry Cultrera
note the entryway to the left.


Entryway to Bel-Aire Diner in storage, photo March 25, 2011
by Larry Cultrera


Bel-Aire Diner in storage, photo March 25, 2011 by Larry Cultrera

So, if anyone is still interested, the Kallas family is looking to sell the diner for $50,000. You might be able to contact them thru….
http://www.peabodytruckstop.com/

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Bel-Aire Diner moved to rear of lot (as predicted)

Well, those photos on my previous post show the Bel-Aire Diner in its last couple of weeks fronting directly on U.S. Rte. 1 in Peabody, Mass. As I said at the bottom of that post, I did not think the diner would remain where it was for long as construction on the new building was progressing fairly quick. This morning I drove by at about 5:45am and it was still up on cribbing in front of the new building. This afternoon was a different story, it was gone! So as I drove I looked and sure enough, the diner was now in the extreme rear of the lot to the right of the gas station surrounded by a fence. The entryway vestibule was removed and I assume it is in pieces with the diner behind that fence.

Here is a photo from better days when it was still operating…..


Bel-Aire Diner, photo by Larry Cultrera

Notes from the Hotline, 3/15/2011

Diner 317 closes after a short run


Diner 317, Rte 125 in Plaistow, NH. Nov., 2010 photo by Larry Cultrera

 Bob Higgins has been keeping tabs on Diner 317 in Plaistow, NH and has been updating me periodically, he had mentioned to me previously that he thought the diner was struggling for business. I wrote about this diner back in Novemeber, see…… https://dinerhotline.wordpress.com/2010/11/21/notes-from-the-hotline-11212010/ . Well Bob wrote me an email over the weekend to tell me that it is indeed true that the diner is now closed. Here is what Bob said in his email from Saturday…. Was in Plaistow this morning, the diner is vacant and for rent or lease. There is a sign by the road and also in the window for rent and a telephone number. I think it has been gone for maybe a month or so.

I feel badly that the operators, John Woods, his cousin Chris Woods and Justin Behling could not pull this off. I believe there were mitigating circumstances that may have led to the closing such as an on-going road construction project on Rte. 125 near the diner as well as this recession.

Progress at the former site of the Bel-Aire Diner

I have been watching the progress on the redevelopement of the former Bel-Aire Diner site in Peabody, Mass. Things were going fairly slow due to the heavy snowfall we had gotten over January and February. But in recent weeks, things have really started happening. The construction of the new building which is slated to house a few truck-stop related businesses has been moving right along with the raising of the steel framework taking place in just about 3 weeks. Here are some photos from last week showing the diner still on-site and the building rising behind it….


Bel-Aire Diner with new building, photo March 6, 2011 by Larry Cultrera


Bel-Aire Diner with new building, photo March 6, 2011 by Larry Cultrera


Bel-Aire Diner with new building, photo March 6, 2011 by Larry Cultrera


Bel-Aire Diner with new building, photo March 6, 2011 by Larry Cultrera

I have a feeling the diner is not going to get sold right away and it cannot stay where it is for too much longer. John Kallas has said that if no one buys the diner he will have it shrink wrapped and moved to storage behind the new building.

Boyle’s Elm Tree Diner, winter 1986


Boyle’s Elm Tree Diner, February 1986 photo by Larry Cultrera

When I was looking for slides of the Park Street Diner last week, I came across some slides of Boyle’s Elm Tree Diner of Salem, Mass. I had not seen these images for some time and I decided to scan 2 of them because they were time exposures that I thought came out decently!

This diner was originally named the Pilgrim Diner and is Worcester Lunch Car No. 725. It was taken over by Don Boyle in the 1970’s I believe, and he renamed it the Elm Tree in honor of a diner his uncle formerly operated in nearby Lynn, Mass. for many years.

Boyle painted over the porcelain panels that had the word “Pilgrim” as you can see in the photos, replicating the “old english” font for the Elm Tree part and a script font for Boyle’s. The big difference was there were more words and the name had to be squeezed in to fit the space.


Boyle’s Elm Tree Diner, February 1986 photo by Larry Cultrera

The diner was almost completely original at this point in time other than the windows. I am not sure when this happened (I’m guessing 1960’s) but there had previously been jalousie windows installed to replace the double hung windows. These later windows had recently been replaced by full pane glass when I took these shots. The diner has since gone thru more changes with the removal of the orignal wooden booths and an auxiliary building was added to the back for more kitchen space. The back bar has been completely altered and the monel metal hood has been chopped back ( a real shame). The only decent thing that has happened is the original porcelain was “unpainted” so now it says “Pilgrim ” again.

I went and shot some new photos today (Sunday March 6) to show what the diner looks like today……


Pilgrim Diner, March 6, 2011 photo by Larry Cultrera


Pilgrim Diner, March 6, 2011 photo by Larry Cultrera