I just received word that the Little Depot Diner of Peabody, Mass. has had a change in ownership. This diner, Worcester Lunch Car No. 650, started its working life as Harry’s Diner in Lynn, circa 1929. It later became Cal’s Diner in Danvers for a time before settling on Railroad Ave. in Peabody around 1950. It operated under names here such as Holly’s Diner and Kurly’s Diner. It closed as Kurly’s around 1982 or 83 and was sold to Marianna Cox who operated it up to the late 1990’s as the Railroad Diner. Ms. Cox passed away and the diner was sold to Barbara Henry who kept the railroad theme but renamed it the Whistlestop Diner.
In 2008 the diner once more changed hands when it was bought by Jim & Judy Miles who renamed it yet again, this time as the Little Depot Diner. The Miles family managed to bring the diner back to a level of service and popularity it had not seen since Mort & Inez Kurland operated it (as Kurly’s). It was even on a segment of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.
In September of 2011 when my book “Classic Diners of Massachusetts” had been printed but not yet released, I heard that the diner had closed abruptly which concerned me just a little bit as it was one of the featured diners in the book. This made the info obsolete before the book had officially hit the shelves! Luckily within about 3 weeks the Miles family reopened it with extremely short operating hours, basically just serving breakfast on Saturdays and Sundays while they looked for potential buyers for the business.
I was contacted today by Peter Scanlon who informed me his son Ross and daughter-in-law Alicia took over operation of the diner and opened on November 10, 2012. Ross and Alicia are quoted as saying “the Miles family have been great about showing them the ropes and introducing them to the regular customers”. Peter went on to say that Ross and Alicia are on their honeymoon this week but will be back open for weekends starting the December 15th. After the first of year they’ll gear up to be open 6 days for breakfast and lunch. The response has been very positive with lots of return guests.