The 5 & Diner in Lincoln Plaza, Worcester, Mass.
2007 photo by Larry Cultrera
Sorry to hear that the first and only Massachusetts location of the 5 & Diner chain has closed within the last 2 weeks. The diner was opened in 2006 at a location in Lincoln Plaza in Worcester by Bob & Laurie Watson, who ended up buying the whole chain within a couple of years of the opening from Ken Higginbotham. The 5 & Diner chain of restaurants were started in 1989 by Higginbotham in Phoenix, Arizona. I wrote about this chain after meeting with Bob & Laurie back in April, see….. https://dinerhotline.wordpress.com/2012/04/08/introducing-bob-laurie-watson-owners-of-5-diner-chain-of-restaurants/
A week ago I got a message from Barry Henley asking if I had heard about the closing of Lou-Roc’s Diner in Worcester. I told him I had not and got a message back from him saying he made a call to Lou-Roc’s and they answered the phone saying they were open for business. Well as the story continues, I got a call from my brother Rick who works for a company that supplies knives/cutlery to restaurants throughout the area and he heard from the driver who takes care of the route around central Massachusetts that the 5 & Diner closed.
I sent a message to my friend Shawn Fallon who was the General Manager at the 5 & Diner and he said things seemed to be going good… he received great marks in his 1-year review and within weeks was let go and a short time later the doors were closed. This news is not good especially this close to the holidays for Shawn who has a young family to support as well as for all the other people who worked there.
It is always sad when a diner closes, be it a regular mom & pop family-run diner or an outlet of a national chain. I have even recently read articles mentioning that the Watson’s are still trying to expand the chain here on the east coast but I do recall Bob telling me that the Worcester location which was not highly visible from the street might not have been the best location.