Notes from the Hotline, 5-20-2012

Documentary about Providence, RI’s Haven Brothers Diner in the works!

Haven Brothers Diner in Providence, RI…. April 19, 2012 photo
by Larry Cultrera

Jeff Toste of Ramp Media Lab has started filming footage for a new documentary entitled…. “Haven Brothers, Legacy of the American Diner” for which I was interviewed on camera back in April (hopefully my part won’t end up on the cutting room floor). Haven Brothers, the legendary mobile food cart that sets up outside providence City Hall every night can trace its roots back to a horse-drawn lunch wagon in the 1880’s.

Haven Brothers Diner in Providence, RI. That is Jeff Toste on the left, filming the diner in the process of setting up next to City Hall.
April 19, 2012 photo by Larry Cultrera

Although Jeff has received some funding to continue the process, he is no where near close enough, money-wise to finish the film. Therefore he is starting a Kickstarter Campaign that interested people can donate to, to help him reach his goal. Below is the flyer for the debut of the Kickstarter event at the Culinary Arts Museum at Johnson & Wales University

A documentary about a Providence icon – the oldest operating American diner on wheels

Produced by Ramp Media Lab, and made possible through major funding support from the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, an independent state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Thursday, May 24, 2012 – 6:00 to 8:00 pm at the
Culinary Arts Museum
315 Harborside Boulevard
Providence,RI 02905

RSVP required byMonday, May 21, 2012
phone number is (401) 598-2805

Suggested donation: $10
All proceeds will support the production of the film

The Haven Brothers food truck will be parked outside of the museum for the evening, with plenty of tasty fare available for purchase.

Do you have a Haven Brothers story you would like to share? Interviews will be conducted at the museum, in the diner exhibit!

Museum Director Richard J.S. Gutman will be on hand to introduce Jeff at this event as well as speak about mobile lunch wagons, and food carts through the years. Being that this event is on a week night, I will not be attending but I urge anyone who might be interested to RSVP by tomorrow (although Richard Gutman clued me in that they will except all RSVP’s right up to Thursday!), or at the very least donate to the Kick starter campaign! Other links are……

@HavenBrosMovie on Twitter

Red’s Kitchen + Tavern of Peabody, Mass. opens

Red’s Kitchen + Tavern, U.S. Route 1 North, Peabody, Mass.
May 19, 2012 photo by Larry Cultrera

Red’s Kitchen + Tavern has opened as of Tuesday, May 15, 2012 on the former site of the late lamented Bel-Aire Diner. The restaurant is part of a larger building that was built on the site that will house other businesses sometime in the near future. This new restaurant is related to a long-time fixture in downtown Salem, Mass…… Red’s Sandwich Shop. The original Red’s is known for their breakfasts and lunches and the new place will feature the signature meals as well. But it will also be open for dinner and has a full liquor license.

Red’s Kitchen + Tavern, U.S. Route 1 North, Peabody, Mass.
May 19, 2012 photo by Larry Cultrera

When this new development was started, the Bel-Aire Diner was actually still going to be a part of the complex, built into the new building. But it seems when Red’s became part of the equation, the diner was nixed! It seems with all probability that the new people thought the diner was in pretty bad shape and would have been limiting to the size of the restaurant they envisioned operating. The new place seats over 200 people and has a small dining room on the back that could be used for functions and meetings. It is nice and clean and features “U-shaped” counters similar to Red’s in Salem as well as a nicely appointed dining room. The open kitchen is also remeniscent of the original Red’s.

Denise and I had breakfast yesterday at Red’s and were nicely impressed by the place! (I should have gotten interior shots). I wish the owners well and hope for their success at this brand-new location! For those who want to check the place out for themselves Red’s Kitchen + Tavern is located at 131 Newbury St. (U.S. Rte. 1),  Peabody, Ma 01960, phone: 978-531-7337
The Hours of Operation are… Sunday: 6 AM – 10 PM, Monday thru Wednesday: 5 AM – 10 PM and Thursday thru Saturday: 5 AM – 11 PM

Carroll’s Bar & Grille opens in Medford, Mass.

The newly opened Carroll’s Bar & Grille in Medford, Mass.
May 2, 2012 photo by Larry Cultrera

As a follow up to the post I did back in February about the history of Carroll’s Diner and the upcoming opening of the Carroll family’s new restauarant in Medford, Mass., see……….    I am happy to announce that Carroll’s Bar & Grille has finally opened its doors on May 3, 2012!

My friends Maury and Tom Carroll have realized their dream of opening a new restaurant in their hometown just 2 blocks away from the former location of  Carroll’s Restaurant (formerly known as Carroll’s Colonial Diner). Three incarnations of Carroll’s Diner operated from 1930 to 1986 at 101 Main Street. I have been following their progress in renovating  the groundfloor space they leased in the “City Building” that wraps the corner of High Street and main Street in Medford Square. The Bar & Grille is located on the Main Street side (21 Main St.) adjacent to the Craddock Bridge which spans the Mystic River.

The newly opened Carroll’s Bar & Grille in Medford, Mass.
May 2, 2012 photo by Larry Cultrera

I had been told they would have a “soft opening” on May 2nd, so Denise & I went over there in the late afternoon to check it out only to find the opening was pushed back to the next day! But Maury welcomed us in to see the finished restaurant and let me shoot some photos. The following photos show the decor of the restaurant and bar area prior to opening.

Interior view showing the dining room after entering the front door. This room has kept the original tin ceiling that had been hidden for years by a dropped ceiling. May 2, 2012 photo by Larry Cultrera

view from the right side of the entrance showing an uncovered brick wall that was the original side wall of the building before it was expanded. You can see 2 of the large poster-size black & white photos on the brick wall. These show the exterior of the 1948 Carroll’s Diner at night and further back, the interior of the 1930 vintage Carroll’s Diner. The unadorned right-side wall will eventually have other historical photos.
May 2, 2012 photo by Larry Cultrera

view of the bar area with windows that look out onto views of the Mystic River as well as the adjacent Mystic Valley Parkway.
May 2, 2012 photo by Larry Cultrera

Looking down the bar you can see the exposed brick wall and the dining room beyond. If you look closely at the furthest point on the brick wall, you will see the stainless steel “C” that once adorned the large brick chimney on the back of the old diner complex.
May 2, 2012 photo by Larry Cultrera

A close-up of the “C”, it is again mounted on a brick chimney but this time it is on the interior of the building. At one time there were 4 of these. When the former diner was being torn down 2 of these were sold to someone and I am not sure if they still exist. I was the one who got the remaining 2 of which this is one. May 2, 2012 photo by Larry Cultrera

Looking down the bar toward Main Street.
May 2, 2012 photo by Larry Cultrera

Another shot looking down the bar toward Main Street.
May 2, 2012 photo by Larry Cultrera

Denise and I got back to eat at the new restaurant on Friday, May 4th in the late afternoon. I presented Maury with a signed copy of my “Classic Diners of Massachusetts” book as a Grand Opening present to show my appreciation for all the photos his family have provided to me over the years for my collection of diner memorabilia. The menu for dinner is slightly upscale, and the prices reflect this. But on the other hand, the food and service were surpisingly excellent for the second day of operation. They bake their own bread for the meals, be it for the “bread basket” or the roll for a sandwich. We will certainly make many return visits in the future!

They will be open only for dinner for the foreseeable future until any kinks are ironed out and will expand the opening hours for lunch as soon as they believe they are ready. The restaurant features a full bar as well as a “raw bar” with flat screen TV’s in the bar area.

I want to wish Maury and Tom Carroll all the success. With the new restaurant being hugely busy these first few days, I can certainly say that it seems like all of Medford has been waiting  for 26 years (since the diner closed) for the Carrolls to bring their magic back!

Classic Diners of Massachusetts Slide Presentation, May 9, 2012

I have a slide presentation based on my book Classic Diners of Massachusetts this coming Wednesday, May 9, 2012 at the Saugus Historical Society. The Historical Society is located at 30 Main Street in Saugus, Mass. (about a block and a half from the center of town). It is diagonally across from Summer Street. According to the info I have, gathering times are 6:45 pm with the meeting beginning at 7:00 pm. My slide presentation should start at approximately 7:30 pm.

There will be a  representative from The Paper Store (a local chain that feature Card, Gifts & Books) on hand to sell copies of my book which I of course will sign after the presentation.