Massachusetts outlet of 5 & Diner Chain closes

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…..

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.

6 thoughts on “Massachusetts outlet of 5 & Diner Chain closes

  1. Sad to hear this. That location is difficult in the sense that there is no well marked route to get in and out of the whole Lincoln Plaza area from 290. I live in the area and I drive past on 290 all of the time but I tend to avoid patronizing the businesses there because I can never remember the exact directions to get in and out. If there were signs from 290 it would make a big difference. I had eaten at the 5 and Diner and it was a great diner.

  2. Although 50’s themes are kind of corny, this diner should have been here in Diner City for the long haul.It was a great diner
    However, any restaurant would be doomed if it is the same plaza as two other restaurants, and directly across the street from Denny’s, but add to those disadvantages, it was down a hill, and completely hidden from view by a retaining wall!
    When I called the Franchise office located in Maynard, I was given the same tired excuse that the economy was to blame.
    A weak economy is the time when affordable comfort food businesses should do their best. According to the woman who answered the phone, there are plans to expand, but not in the northeast. What a shame!

    • Norm, I totally agree with you. Not the best location for sure. Also, I believe the food and service were good as well. You could actually see the diner better from the highway than you could from the adjacent street.

  3. This is too bad. I really enjoy the 50’s style diners, and was looking forward to visiting this place, the next time I am in the Worcester area. Are there any other 50’s style diners in the area?

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