SRO in Somerville, next up… North Dartmouth!

The Author Event at the Somerville Public Library was a success! It became a standing room only crowd! There were more than quite a few books sold.

Some of my family showed up in Somerville, left to right, my brother Don and his wife  Jane, my brother Steve, me and my brother Rick.
photo by Denise Cultrera

This was billed as the first “Meet, Mingle and Read” event at the Library and Library Director Maria Carpenter was very gracious and pleasant to work with. My new slide presentation was well received and there were quite a few members of the audience that participated in the question and answer part after the presentation. The library had some catered “diner-like” food for people to partake of (it was from the local “Sound Bites” restaurant, none of the 3 diners in Somerville could accomodate the request for food).

Some members of my family showed up for this including my brothers Steve, Rick and Don and Don’s wife Jane, as well as Denise’s cousin Maryann Bancroft and her husband Rick. Another old friend, Vinny Bordonaro stopped by as well as a former co-worker of mine Ed Lecaroz and his friend Beth. Old friend and owner of the Rosebud Diner, Bill Nichols was there along with David Hebb, one of my long-time diner roadtrip buddies as well as newer friends Glenn Wells and Mike Engle. Glenn and Mike get the long distance award for driving all the way from the Albany, NY area to attend! Many thanks to my wife Denise for all her help including the photos she shot. I think she is getting pretty good with the Nikon Cool Pix camera.

left to right, David Hebb, Mike Engle, Glenn Wells and myself.
photo by Denise Cultrera

This coming Saturday at 11:00 am, it is on to Baker Books in North Dartmouth, Mass. as well as a radio interview with New Bedford’s Shawmut Diner owner and local radio personality Phil Paleologos at 10:15 am on Tuesday, November 22 (WBSM-AM). Here is a link to the event page at Baker Books….

Author Event at Somerville Public Library, Saturday 10 am

Postard from my collection of the Somerville Public Library

I am looking forward to my second “Author Event” this coming Saturday November 19th to be held at the central branch of the Somerville Public Library located at 79 Highland Avenue in Somerville, Mass. This will be the first talk of the new “Meet, Mingle and Read” a Director’s Feature at the library and is held in conjunction with The Harvard COOP Bookstore, who will be providing copies of the book for purchase. Not only will I be signing copies of Classic Diners of Massachusetts but I will also have a short slide presentation.

On another note, the first “Author Event” at Tatnuck Bookseller in Westborough was really great! We sold quite a few books and saw some old and new friends in the bargain! Rich Beaubien, Denise J.R. Bass and Paula Walsh (all mentioned in my acknowledgements in the book) came by as well as Mike O’Connor (owner of Worcester Lunch Car No. 705) and John Harmon, former owner/operator of Lulu’s Diner in Malden.

Also, Phil Robbins, who lives in the Westborough area attended. Phil has been to 2 of my recent slide presentations and it was no surprise to see him at this event. I want to thank Rick Gemme for coming by. Rick is the great nephew of the late Charles Gemme, the vice president and superintendent of the Worcester Lunch Car Company. Charlie had a hand in the design of virtually every diner that came out of that factory.

I would like to thank the management at Tatnuck Bookseller, they have a really nice store and it made for a pleasant experience. Alex (not sure if he was the assistant manager) was very helpful and I would highly recommend a visit to this store if you are ever in the area. They have a huge selection of gifts, books and a nice cafe.

At Tatnuck Bookseller Gift Gallery and Cafe, pictured left to right
(front) Rick Gemme and Denise Bass (back) Phil Robbins, Mike O’Connor, Paula Walsh and Larry Cultrera, Photo by Denise Cultrera

Upcoming Author Events and Book Updates

Classic Diners of Massachusetts is now in the bookstores!

Here is the first sighting of my book at the local Barnes & Noble in
Saugus, Mass. this past Saturday, the 5th of November.
photo by Denise Cultrera

So now it is starting to be offered at the local bookstores and also quite a few diners! I am expecting an updated list from Dani McGrath, the sales representative from The History Press of all the diners selling the book, but here are the name of diners I know are selling them………
The Miss Adams Diner in Adams,  Don’s Diner in Plainville, Tex Barry’s Coney Island Diner in Attleboro, and the Four Sisters Owl Diner in Lowell along with The Salem Diner in Salem, Boulevard Diner in Worcester and Deluxe Town Diner in Watertown as well as the Deluxe Station Diner in Newton. I believe the Culinary Arts Museum (Johnson & Wales University) in Providence is selling the book as well.

Here are some flyers for the upcoming Author Events…..

The first as I mentioned in the previous post is at Tatnuck Bookseller Gift Gallery & Cafe this coming Saturday. The store is located at the corner of Route 9 and Lyman Street in Westborough, Mass.

The next will be the following Saturday November 19th at the
Somerville Public Library. This will be held at their Main Branch
located at 79 Highland Avenue in Somerville, Mass. This will not only be
for a book signing but I will also do a short slide presentation.

The next one is Saturday, November 26th at Baker Books in North Dartmouth, Mass. I understand there will be Gift Certificates to the Shawmut Diner of New Bedford available to people who buy the book at the store. I will also be interviewed the Tuesday, Nov. 22nd on Phil Paleologos’s radio program on WBSM-AM at 10:15 AM in conjunction with this event. For those who do not know, Phil and his wife Celeste are the owners of the Shawmut Diner!

The next event will be at Booklovers’ Gourmet on December 3, 2011. This store is located at 55 East Main Street in Webster, Mass.

Another “Author’s Event” for Classic Diners of Massachusetts

I just booked a second “Author’s Event” for November 19th at the Somerville Public Library, 10:00 am to 11:30 am. This will be at the main branch of the Library, 79 Highland Avenue in Somerville, Mass.  and held in conjunction with the Harvard COOP/Barnes and Noble. Here is a link to the Library’s event page…..

I will be doing a short slide presentation to go with the book signing at this event. This of course follows the event in Westborough at Tatnuck Booksellers on November 12th (announced in the previous post).

I am also getting some positive feedback from people who have already received their copy of the book. Philomene Belair at the Miss Adams Diner tells me she has sold quite a few copies of the book. David Bergstrom from Lynn says…. Larry just finished your book, love it, love it, great job! I love the way you laid it out !! Really good read. I was talking with Perry at Don’s Diner they have your book on sale there ! I bought mine on line at Barnes and Nobel. I have to catch up and have you autograph it for me !! Congrats and much success .

Thanks David!

Classic Diners of Massachusetts has been published and shipped!

I am happy (and proud) to announce that my book, “Classic Diners of Massachusetts” has been published and shipped! I received my copies from The History Press on Friday, October 14th and I am very pleased with how it came out!

My wife Denise shot this photo of me holding a copy of the book!

The book should be in most book stores (at least in Massachusetts) by the end of this week! You can more than likely find it at Barnes & Noble and I would assume most locations of  The Paper Store in the Boston area. It certainly can be ordered through your local bookstore (anywhere in the U.S.) as well as most online websites, (, ( , etc. as well as The History Press website (

I can also announce my first scheduled book signing will be at Tatnuck Bookseller Gift Gallery and Cafe in Westborough, Mass. It will be November 12th running from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm. Here is a link to their website…..

I will post any other book signings when I know for sure the where and when of them!

On another note, I am happy to report that the Little Depot Diner of Peabody, Mass. has been reopened by the Miles family about a month after they closed the business. I first heard about it early Saturday morning from an announcement on their Facebook page! Denise & I went there for breakfast today and daughter Jen Miles told us  they reopened by popular demand. Basically they missed their regular customers and the interaction they had with them. Unfortunately, at this point it looks like they will only be opened for weekends, 7:00 am to 1:00 pm Saturday and Sunday and I suppose that is better than being closed permanently! I showed them a copy of the book and that they were a featured diner which pleased them!

2 Massachusetts Diners closed in the last month

I am eagerly awaiting the publication of my book…. “Classic Diners of Massachusetts”. The official publication date is October 20th, but I probably will see it sooner. It was printed around 2 weeks ago, in fact the same week it was going to press I got news through Facebook that one of the “featured diners” in my chapter on the North Shore & Northern Suburbs had closed abruptly. This was The Little Depot Diner of Peabody.

The Little Depot Diner, Railroad Ave. in Peabody, Mass.
photo by Larry Cultrera

I was bummed out as that piece of news made my book sort of dated before it hit the shelves! Oh well, at least what I wrote will be a tribute to the Miles family. I mentioned  how they were the first people to make this diner viable again after being marginal at best for quite a few years and I know they will be missed. Jim Miles was quoted as saying they hope to find a buyer to take over and reopen the diner in the near future.

Jim Miles wrote the following and posted it on the diner’s Facebook page as an explanation as well as a thank you to all their regular customers……

September 16, 2011
Dear friends and loyal customers,
Yes, it is true…The Little Depot Diner is closed for business. Four years ago Judy and I stepped into this tiny little diner and fifteen minutes later we shook hands with the seller and stepped out as the new owners of this special little place. Until that day we had no plan to ever own a diner. Our kids were as surprised as we were when we told them we bought a diner.

Then the work began and our vision of “The Little Depot Diner” became reality after countless hours of renovation. We wanted to create an atmosphere where people could enjoy a decent meal, have some fun and hopefully walk out happy. We slid the door open in February 2008 in hopes that people will come…and come you did. Over the past few years we have had the time of our lives meeting people, making friends and having fun beyond our wildest dreams. The previous owner told us on that first day; “This diner is not about the food…It’s about the people.” She was absolutely right. Thank you Joyce, for allowing my family an experience we will cherish for a lifetime.

We care about every person that ever came into the diner, but it’s our regular customers that made my decision to close so difficult. You all know who you are. No need to mention names. I want to express my heartfelt thanks for your support and for your friendship. My hat’s off to the parents of the great little kids that brought so much joy to all of us at the diner. We will miss all of you. Many people are asking why we closed so unexpectedly. About six months ago it became apparent to me that this has become more work then we can handle. I began looking for a possible buyer in hopes to find “the right people” to continue the operation without interruption. Unfortunately that has not happened. The well-being of my family is my number one concern and I recognized today as a necessary walk-away point. I apologize for the inconvenience and ask for your understanding and support. Hopefully we will find the “right people” soon and slide that door back open.

God Bless You All,
Jim Miles (The best darn waiter this side of the Mississippi if I do say so myself). To my wife Judy, you’ve done a fantastic job creating such a unique and successful business. I couldn’t have a better partner. To my daughter Jen, your tears today summed it all up. Thank you. To my son Joe, I can never thank you enough for everything you’ve done.
Thank you to our crew and everyone who helped us along the way.
I am a very proud man today.

So, if that news wasn’t enough, this weekend another “featured diner” in my book closed! This time due to a kitchen fire. I am talking about the Whately Diner Fillin’ Station which I featured in my Western Massachusetts chapter.

The Whately Diner Fillin” Station, Whately, Mass.
April, 2011 photo by Larry Cultrera

Apparently, a kitchen fire got out of control and the diner is expected to be closed for an indefinite period while the damage can be repaired.

Here is a news report dated October 2nd from about the fire…

Whately Diner fire causes about $100,000 in damages

By Jeanette DeForge, The Republican

A fire that started in the kitchen of the popular Fillin’ Station Diner caused about $100,000 in damages and is expected to keep the restaurant closed for at least a month. The fire started some time between 5:30 and 5:45 a.m. Sunday, when cooks were working in the kitchen and several customers were in the dining room. There were no injures, Whately Fire Chief John Hannum said.

Manager Frederic Brown, who arrived after the fire broke out, said the blaze appeared to have started in the kitchen in an area between two grills. He said it could take several weeks to repair the damage. Hannum confirmed the cause of the fire was a cooking accident. “The extinguishing system activated but it didn’t put the fire out,” Hannum said. The diner has a chemical extinguishing system above the grills. Hannum said he was not exactly sure why it did not douse the flames.

The kitchen was mostly destroyed in the blaze and firefighters had to cut holes in the roof because it had extended above the ceiling. There was no fire damage to the dining room but there was smoke damage, Hannum said.
“When we got there it was going pretty good,” he said. Fire Departments from a number of nearby communities were called under mutual assistance partly because there are no hydrants in the area so tanker trucks were needed. It took firefighters about three hours to put out the fire and ensure it would not start again, Hannum said.

The 24-hour restaurant, also known as the Whately Diner, is on Route 5 next to Exit 24 of I-91. With a gasoline and diesel station next door and large parking area, it is a popular stop for truckers. It is owned by F.L. Roberts.

So hopefully both of these diners will only be closed temporarily and patrons will be able to enjoy some great food in both Peabody and Whately in the near future!