Englewood Diner becomes Red Line Diner

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Red Line Diner, now located in Brighton, Mass.
October 26, 2013 photo by Larry Cultrera
Formerly the Englewood Diner of Dorchester, Mass.

I have been a little remiss in posting anything throughout November as I was scanning a bunch of slides, 180 or so (to be sort of exact). They were all of the photos/slides I had ever shot of Rosie’s Diner when it was in Little Ferry, NJ. The bulk of the slides came from the last weekend of operation in January of 1990 and the preparation for moving the structure on the next weekend. I had promised my friend Arnie Corrado (son of former owner Ralph Corrado, Jr.) back then that I would give him copies of all the photos I had shot. This plan sort of became cost restrictive when I realized how many images there were. Well, with all the new digital technology at my disposal nowadays, I could finally keep my promise. So for almost 3 weeks, I spent the extra time I had scanning all the images. Better late than never! I actually turned it into a slide show movie which can be found on Youtube……… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2XlDiGzRM3I. I will eventually do a post about it here in the near future. Now on to the subject of this post……

A year ago Denise and I had made a trip (along with Beth Lennon and Cliff Hillis) up to Salisbury, Massachusetts to meet with Roger Elkus and Daryl McGann who had purchased the former Monarch Diner, originally of Dover, NH. The diner had not been in service since the early 1970s when it last operated in South Berwick, Maine. Dave Pritchard of Salisbury had started buying old diners a number of years ago and storing them at his truck/trailer company yard in Salisbury. The diners included the Miss Newport Diner of Newport, VT (now the Miss Mendon of Mendon, Mass.) the Englewood Diner last operated in Dorchester, Mass., and the Olympian Diner formerly of Braintree, Mass. as well as the Monarch. When we got into the yard I noticed the only diners left were the Monarch and the Olympian. I asked Roger and Daryl what happened to the Englewood and they told me that the owner of New Balance Footwear had purchased it and moved it to an undisclosed location.

Fast forward to October 25, 2013, when I received an email from Randy Garbin that had some attached photos from someone named Todd Purple. The message that accompanied the photos was short and sweet….. “Did you know about this”? I checked out the photos and low and behold, there was the former Englewood Diner looking to be completely restored on the exterior, sporting a new name….. Red Line! According to the email, it was located down behind 38 Everett Street in the Brighton section of Boston. Everett St. runs between Western Ave. in Allston and North Beacon St. in Brighton. The area was once primarily a mix of houses and somewhat run-down industrial buildings that has had a rebirth with parts of it being resurrected as an upscale office park. In fact a huge part of this rebirth can be directly attributed to New Balance Footwear as their Headquarters is located within a block of this property.

So, the 25th being a Friday, I decided to take a ride over to Brighton to check out this new location the very next day, where I managed to shoot some nice photos of it.

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Red Line Diner, Brighton, Mass.
October 26, 2013 photo by Larry Cultrera

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Red Line Diner, Brighton, Mass.
October 26, 2013 photo by Larry Cultrera

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Red Line Diner, Brighton, Mass.
October 26, 2013 photo by Larry Cultrera

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Red Line Diner, Brighton, Mass.
October 26, 2013 photo by Larry Cultrera

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Red Line Diner, Brighton, Mass.
October 26, 2013 photo by Larry Cultrera

In looking closely at the exterior, the new steel panels seem to be painted instead of the porcelain enameled panels it originally had. Certainly a reasonable facsimile of the originals… and let me be clear, this was professionally done. Even the roof shingles look similar though not identical to what had previously been there, giving it a period look in keeping with the original style of the diner. The interior did not need much as the following photos show….

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Interior view of the Red Line Diner, Brighton, Mass.
October 26, 2013 photo by Larry Cultrera

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Interior view of the Red Line Diner, Brighton, Mass.
October 26, 2013 photo by Larry Cultrera

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Interior view of the Red Line Diner, Brighton, Mass.
October 26, 2013 photo by Larry Cultrera

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Interior view of the Red Line Diner, Brighton, Mass.
October 26, 2013 photo by Larry Cultrera

Early on the next week I did some digging and was able to leave a message to a department in the corporate offices at New Balance Footwear. Within a couple of hours my wife Denise called to let me know there was a message from someone named Laurie at New Balance. When I returned her call, Laurie informed me that the restored diner is being used for corporate functions only and not open to the public (as I suspected).

As I mentioned above, the Englewood Diner operated for years in the Peabody Square neighborhood of Dorchester. It closed in 1979 when the land it was on was slated to be redeveloped, replaced by a high-rise building for senior housing. This was almost a year before I started photographing diners so I never was able to document it in that location. But luckily it was documented by others like David Hebb and Dick Gutman. Dick was kind enough to lend me this image (below) of the Englewood Diner when it was located across from Ashmont Station in Peabody Square, Dorchester…..

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Englewood Diner, 1970s vintage photo by Richard J.S. Gutman

So after it closed in 1979, the diner was moved to Pat’s Towing Company yard in the Cambridgeport neighborhood, just outside of Central Square in Cambridge. It stayed at that storage location through 1981.

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My first shot of the Englewood Diner taken from the roof of my 1979 Chevy van looking over the fence of Pat’s Towing Company in Cambridge.
1981 photo by Larry Cultrera

In fact, Dick and Kelly Gutman were the ones who showed me where it was being stored on one of our first “Diner Excursions” in 1981 where I obtained the photo above. It was relocated to the Cambridge/Somerville town line in a yard maintained by Wayside Leasing on Park Street just off Somerville Avenue, where it stayed until 1984.

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Englewood Diner at Wayside Leasing storage yard in Somerville
1982 photo by Larry Cultrera

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Englewood Diner at Wayside Leasing storage yard in Somerville
1982 photo by Larry Cultrera

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Englewood Diner at Wayside Leasing storage yard in Somerville
1982 photo by Larry Cultrera

In 1984, the diner was bought by Brian Burke, a general contractor from Dorchester. His plan was to repatriate the diner back to its longtime hometown. He had some property adjacent to the Bradlees department store that was on Morrissey Boulevard at the corner of Victory Road. Burke took his time in setting up the diner and finally opened it in 1986. It was operated by at least two if not three operators prior to closing in the early 1990s.

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Englewood Diner temporarily parked at Kendall Square in Cambridge
on the way back to Dorchester. 1984 photo by Larry Cultrera

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Englewood Diner temporarily parked at Kendall Square in Cambridge
on the way back to Dorchester. 1984 photo by Larry Cultrera

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The Englewood Diner newly arrived at Victory Road in Dorchester.
1984 photo by Larry Cultrera

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The Englewood Diner at its last operating location. It operated here from 1986 to 1992.
1984 photo by Larry Cultrera

In 1992, the Englewood was closed and sold at auction to Dennis “Skip” Scipione, owner of the Blue Moon Diner in Gardner. Skip had plans to reopen the diner and kept it in storage in neighboring Ashburnham, Mass. until the right time and place came about.  It looked like it would happen in 1997 when the diner moved to the northern part of Fitchburg. The next 3 photos show the diner at that proposed location….

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Englewood Diner at proposed location in Fitchburg.1997 photo by Larry Cultrera

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Englewood Diner at proposed location in Fitchburg.
1997 photo by Larry Cultrera

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Englewood Diner at proposed location in Fitchburg.
1997 photo by Larry Cultrera

This location in Fitchburg never actually came to fruition and the diner embarked on a series of moves to at least two if not three different storage locations over the next few years. In fact Skip finally sold the diner to Dan Johnston in the year 2000. Johnston purchased it for $20,000, moved the diner to the town of Holden.  Johnston’s plans for the diner were somewhat vague. In one instance he talked about reopening it and another was possibly attaching it to his house for private use. None of that ever happened and in fact, according to Randy Garbin of Roadside Online, Johnston even had the diner listed on Ebay for a short time.

While in Johnston’s possession, the diner ended up taking its longest round trip to be in a big budget Hollywood movie! Johnston was approached by Dreamworks Production Company in 2001. Dreamworks wanted to use the diner in a scene of the movie “Road to Perdition” starring Tom Hanks and Paul Newman. According to Garbin as quoted from his book Diners of New England, Dreamworks reportedly paid Johnston nearly $40,000 giving Johnston the first option to purchase it back after the scenes in the movie were completed.

The diner was transported to the Chicago area for the film and Johnston bought it back for less than half his original sale price. As Garbin noted the time-frame of the film was set in 1931 while purists would note that the diner is from 1941…… details, details!!!

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Publicity still showing the Englewood Diner during its star turn
from the Hollywood production of Road to Perdition.
photo courtesy of http://film-grab.com/tag/daniel-craig/

A few months after Johnston got the diner back he flipped it yet again to Matt Letellier of Eliot, Maine whose plan was to attach the diner to his on-site built Downeast Diner. The next 3 photos show the Englewood in Eliot, ME….

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Englewood Diner in Eliot, Maine. 2002 photo by Larry Cultrera

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Englewood Diner in Eliot, Maine. 2002 photo by Larry Cultrera

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Englewood Diner in Eliot, Maine. 2002 photo by Larry Cultrera

Unfortunately, Letellier’s plans never came to be and he turned around and sold the diner to Dave Pritchard in 2003. That is when the Englewood came to Salisbury where it stayed until 2012 and ultimately purchased by New Balance Footwear.

I will say that although this diner has had an interesting life in the last 35 years, it can also be said that it probably has the most mileage, being one of the most traveled diners in history! Now that it has found more than likely a permanent home in Brighton, as well as a new lease on life…. it is almost like an old racehorse being put out to pasture in its golden years!

Notes from the Hotline, Jan. 20, 2013

Well, it is the middle of winter and I am feeling sort of lazy. But I also feel neglectful to my regular readers as well so I am forcing myself to get my rear end in gear and do a quick blog post on things that are happening. Subjects I will talk about  include the planned resurrection of a diner that has not operated since the early 1970’s and been in storage for close to 27 years, news about 2 diners that are featured in my book “Classic Diners of Massachusetts”, an upcoming author event I instigated and a long-time local 5 & dime department store that is closing. Also a link to an interesting blog post about the closing of someone’s favorite diner, so, here we go…..

Former Monarch Diner gets a new lease on life

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Left to right…. the former Olympia Diner of Braintree, Mass and
the former Monarch Diner of Dover, NH
December 22, 2012 photo by Larry Cultrera

I heard from Retro Road gal Beth Lennon in November via Facebook. She asked if I was interested in getting together with her and her hubby Cliff Hillis on the weekend before Christmas. She had recently made the acquaintance of  Roger Elkus and Daryl McGann, (Roger is the owner of Me & Ollie’s a small chain of Bakery/Cafe’s in the southeastern part of New Hampshire
and Daryl is his Production Manager see… http://www.meandollies.com/). They informed her of their plans for a 1950 vintage stainless steel O’Mahony diner they had acquired.

Cliff and Beth were driving up from Pheonixville, PA to visit with family in Massachusetts and New Hampshire for the holidays. Part of the itinerary included a stop at Kane’s Donuts in my hometown of Saugus on the way to a family gathering in New Hampshire. The plan was for Denise and I to meet Beth and Cliff at Kane’s and then motor up to Salisbury to meet up with Roger and Daryl at the the storage yard where the old diner they were buying has been located for a number of years.

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Beth Lennon & yours truly outside Kane’s Donuts. Dec. 22, 2012 photo
by Cliff Hillis

So after a cup of coffee at Kane’s (where I introduced them to Peter Delios, whose family runs the donut shop) – as planned, it was off to Salisbury where we met Roger and Daryl. We were all surprised to find the gate to the storage yard closed, as it usually was opened. Luckily the chain that locked the 2 gates was loose enough that we could squeeze thru (a little tight for me but I made it). Roger brought a step ladder along to climb up into the diner.

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Daryl McGann and Roger Elkus inside the former Monarch Diner
December 22, 2012 photo by Larry Cultrera

During our visit to the diner in Salisbury, Roger showed us where the serial number for the diner was located. It was on the stainless steel molding for the front door frame directly under the bottom hinge.

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An extreme close-up of the Serial number for the old Monarch Diner
from Dover, NH.  According to Gary Thomas’  – “Diners of the North Shore” book, the other O’Mahony the DeCola’s bought for Waltham, Mass. was Serial number 2179-50. The number “50” denotes the year it was built.
December 22, 2012 photo by Larry Cultrera

P.S.  That other 1950 vintage O’Mahony incidentally is currently operating as the Tilt’n Diner in Tilton, NH…… LAC

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Beth Lennon and Cliff Hillis inside the former Monarch Diner
December 22, 2012 photo by Larry Cultrera

Now for a little back story on this diner…. it was originally one of a chain of diners owned and operated by the DeCola brothers of Waltham, Mass. (in some cases they leased the diners to other operators) Most of the diners they ran were called the Monarch Diner. The flagship was located in Waltham with other Monarch’s in Dover, NH and Milford, NH as well as Saugus, Mass. They had other diners they ran with names like the Littleton Diner of Littleton, Mass. as well as a diner called the Paradise Diner in Lowell, Mass. (not the current one, there were 2) and another diner in either Billerica or Chelmsford (I cannot recall which or even if it was a Monarch). The diner we were in Salisbury to look at was the former Dover, NH Monarch Diner which operated at 530 Central Ave. in that southeastern New Hampshire city.

According to Will Anderson’s “More Good Old Maine” book (1995 – Will Anderson Publishing), even though the diner was owned by the DeCola’s, it was more than likely leased by at least 3 different operators until December of 1968 when it was purchased by Edward & Phyllis Neal who moved the diner to North Berwick, Maine. The Neal’s intended to utilize the diner as a flower shop initially, but after the diner was installed at the new location, they ended up leasing the diner to Lois Griffin who ran it as Lois’ Diner. The diner reportedly closed in 1973 and sat vacant until 1986 before being moved to Phyllis Neal’s property in Sanford, Maine.

I actually knew of the diner back in March of 1989 when I visited a friend who lived in the Sanford area. He used to drive by the diner’s storage location twice a day. We got to his house and he said let’s take a ride, keeping the destination as a surprise. We came around a bend in the road and there was the diner sitting up on blocks!

Fast forward to the early 2000’s when Dave Pritchard of Salisbury convinced Phyllis Neal to sell the old diner. Dave had bought up 3 other old diners and stored them on his property in Salisbury. The other 3 were the Englewood Diner, Olympian Diner and Miss Newport Diner. Pritchard had no concrete plans for any of the diners until he eventually sold the Miss Newport (now reopened as the Miss Mendon Diner) and more recently the Englewood (which is reportedly in private hands).

Roger Elkus and Daryl McGann in the last year or so were discussing the possibility of obtaining an old diner to operate in conjunction (but separate) with the Me & Ollie’s Cafes. To make a long story short, they found their way to Salisbury and Dave Pritchard. They eventually convinced Pritchard to sell them the old Monarch and hopefully before this year is out, their plan is to relocate the diner and restore it and have it operating. I will post a more detailed story about this in the next few months.

Peabody, Massachusetts’ Little Depot Diner
under new ownership

One of the diners featured in my book “Classic Diners of Massachusetts” has recently changed hands. This was not unexpected news. Right around the same time my book was being printed (September, 2011), the Miles family – owners of the diner since 2008 abruptly closed the diner. But within a month they reopened it with only weekend hours basically keeping it a viable business while searching for a new owner to operate it. Well back in November I received an email from Peter Scanlon of North Easton, Mass. who informed me his son Ross and new daughter-in-law Alicia had taken over the reigns of the 1929 vintage Worcester Lunch Car.

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The Little Depot Diner in Peabody, Mass. Photo by Larry Cultrera

The Miles family stayed with them to show them the ropes for a short time. After Ross and Alicia’s wedding and honeymoon around Thanksgiving the newlyweds reopened the diner, again testing the water with only weekend hours. After the first of the year, the diner is now open 6 days a week, Tuesday thru Friday: 7:00 am – 1:30 pm, Saturday & Sunday: 7:00 am – 1:00 pm. Denise and I have been there twice since they reopened and found the food to be good quality and the service very friendly! The diner is located at 1 Railroad Avenue, just behind the Courthouse in downtown Peabody.

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Peter, Ross and Alicia Scanlon @ The Little Depot Diner, Peabody, Mass.
December 15, 2012 photo by Larry Cultrera

Al Mac’s Diner of Fall River, Mass. set to reopen

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Al Mac’s Diner, Fall River, Mass. Photo by Larry Cultrera

Back in late July I posted the news that Al Mac’s Diner of Fall River closed abruptly. (see… https://dinerhotline.wordpress.com/2012/07/23/news-flash-al-macs-diner-of-fall-river-mass-closes/). This was disturbing to me as this was again another featured diner in my book “Classic Diners of Massachusetts”.  Well it now looks like the diner will reopen under new ownership around February 1, 2013. I saw the news back on December 11, 2012 from The Herald News out of Fall River.
Here is the story was written by Brian Fraga……..

FALL RIVER —

Robert Dunse II remembers when he was a kid eating his first chocolate chip pancake at Al Mac’s Diner. “I sat down at the end of that counter top. My parents used to bring us here,” Dunse, 25, said Tuesday inside the historic diner at 135 President Ave., which will reopen next month. Dunse, his sister, Laura Reed, and their mother, Susan Dunse, all Fall River natives, recently leased the diner, which the previous owner, Norman Gauthier, closed in July, citing financial difficulties.

On Tuesday, construction workers were busy inside the diner, updating the interior and preparing the space for a series of additions that will include new vinyl booths, and possibly a jukebox. The building’s exterior, including the famous Al Mac’s sign, is also being refinished. There is even a new website — http://www.almacsdiner.net — in development. “I’m basically redoing the whole place. It’s getting a major, major facelift,” said Dunse, a 2008 graduate of Johnson & Wales University who previously worked for a catering company in Providence. Before that, Dunse said he worked as a personal chef for New England Patriots owner Robert Craft.

The family signed the lease for the diner in early November. Dunse said he moved home to Fall River in the summer when he saw the “For Lease” sign in Al Mac’s window. “I was moving all my stuff. I had a full carload full of furniture and everything,” Dunse said. “I saw the ‘For Lease’ sign. I called (his mother), asked, ‘What do you think?’ I got the information on it, made the phone call.” Susan Dunse, a former employee with the Fall River School Department, said the family had always talked about opening up a restaurant. She said Robert’s great grandfather and his brother owned the old Columbus Cafe in Fall River.

“Restaurants and food is kind of in the family,” she said. Robert Dunse said he expects to reopen Al Mac’s by early January. He said the menu will be updated with American, Italian, Polish and Southern comfort fare, among other family favorites. “We really want more of a classic diner feel, with the milk shakes, with the late night, with the crazy breakfast specials, the large portion sizes, the working-man lunch specials,” he said. “Everything is going to be fresh. We’re bringing good food to the city. My motto is four-star food at a one-star price.”

Dunse said his sous chef — the second in command — left his job in fine dining to come work at the new Al Mac’s. “Lot of talent here,” Dunse said. Al Mac’s has been part of Fall River’s landscape for more than a century. Its founder, Al McDermott, started the business in 1910 on a six-seat, horse-drawn wagon. The stainless steel diner on President Avenue was built in 1953. The diner was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1999.

“We’re from Fall River. It’s Fall River people, bringing stuff back to Fall River,” said Susan Dunse, who remarked Tuesday that the interior still looks much as it did during the 1950s. “We’re bringing back the booths. People are very excited about the booths,” she said. Robert Dunse said he believes customers will return and keep the diner financially viable this time around.

“If you have good food, people will come,” he said. “If you provide a great environment where people feel comfortable and at home, and you develop personal relationships, people are going to come no matter what.”

Lord’s Department Store of Medfield, Mass. set to close

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Lord’s Department Store, 446 Main St. (Rte. 109) in Medfield, Mass.
January 13, 2013 Photo by Larry Cultrera

Back on January 4th, I got a message from Beth Lennon who was concerned about a local landmark…. Lord’s Department Store, a long-time fixture in the small town of Medfield, Massachusetts. She had heard that the store is set to close its doors at the end of February and was concerned about the great neon sign that was mounted on the building.I was somewhat familiar with it most like from Beth’s posts about it on her Retro Roadmap blog, see…. (http://www.retroroadmap.com/). So after I was aware of this news I did a little research and this is what I found out……

Started as a small “5 and 10 cent” store in 1940, the place was opened by Raymond Lord, a former employee of Kresge’s 5 and 10 cent stores out of New York City. The story goes that Mr. Lord had used some faulty marketing research that was done by the Kresge organization on likely towns that might support a 5 an 10 cent store. It seems Medfield had a population of around 4500 which seemed perfect. So Mr Lord left Kresge’s to open his own store in the seemingly bustling community of Medfield. He opened his store in an existing storefront down the street from the current store and was surprised to see that there was hardly any business for the first week.

He ended up talking with an employee of the local U.S. Post Office and asked the man where are all the people that are supposed to be living here? He told him that he had heard the population was around 4500 and the man said yes, that was possibly true, except for one thing, about 3000 of  those people were locked up in the State Hospital! So much for marketing research circa 1940!

Well Mr. Lord stuck it out and pretty much from day one, he had the able help of William Kelly, a local lad who was an extremely hard worker. Mr. Kelly had the people skills and strong work ethic that appealed to Lord who eventually gave the young Kelly more and more responsibility. After Kelly returned from service during WWII, he was made the manager of the store.

In the early 1950’s Bill Kelly took over the day to day operations as a partner to Ray Lord. By the late 50’s the store moved to it’s current location and eventually Kelly bought the business. It has been run by Bill and more recently his son Tom and daughter Nancy Kelly-Lavin. Bill passed away this past May and Tom and Nancy by the end of the year decided that they would close the store and sell the property.

The store has become the heart and soul of the downtown area, everyone who lives in the vicinity has great memories of the store which had a little bit of everything. It was open 7 days a week, 365 days a year. It featured a lunch counter/soda fountain and recently was operated as Ruthie’s Diner.

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Ruthie’s Diner inside Lord’s Department Store
January 13, 2013 photo by Larry Cultrera

Denise and I took a ride down this past Sunday Jan. 13th and had a cup of coffee at the lunch counter. We also walked around the store and as we were leaving, we met Nancy Kelly-Lavin.  We had a nice conversation with her as she related some stories to us. We wished her well and went on our way. The latest word is that there is a possibility the classic neon sign may be kept on the building by the new owner, giving the towns people a little piece of mind that their downtown might still have a bit of their local landmark for generations to come.

Eulogy for the Harvest Diner, by Michael R. Fisher

My friend Rich Wilhelm of Phoenixville, PA (a neighbor and friend of Beth Lennon and Cliff Hillis) sent me a link to a blog post his nephew Michael Fisher wrote lamenting the closong of his local diner. I read the piece and asked Michael permission to  re-post it here……

After nineteen years in business, my diner is closing.

Like all residents of suburban South Jersey, I have (sadly, as of this coming Sunday, had) a go-to diner. And while many of my SoJerz brethren may have thought of the local diner as little more than a necessary stop on the way home from the bar on a woozy Saturday night, the Harvest has meant much more to me.

Whether playing its role as hangout, employer, home away from home or whathaveyou, the Harvest was always a welcoming, reliable beacon of 24-hour light thrusting upward from the middle of the disenchanted-and-we-like-it-that-way Jersey suburbs. See, I’m a city kid; the general artlessness of the ‘burbs, taken (not incorrectly) by its devoted residents as the signature of comfort and stability, has always turned me off in a Springsteenesque “it’s a death trap/it’s a suicide rap” kind of way, albeit less melodramatically. But the diner was always necessary. Its policy of being open all night encouraged coffee talk, which is still the highest form of human interaction, save perhaps tantric sex. Nobody in their twenties lives at home if things are going well for them, so the 24-hour diner became the haven of late-night plotting and dreaming and decompressing as we faced the future armed only with coffee and cigarettes and the nametags given us by our retail jobs. That is, until we lost those jobs and started working at the diner.

It sounds like that diner could have been any diner, and maybe it was after all just happenstance that made the Harvest our diner, but that doesn’t matter. It was ours, and it was special. It was owned by the Savvas, the nicest family of Cypriot-Americans you’d ever hope to meet; people who offered me work–twice–when the doors of the rest of the world slammed in my face; people who were never shy about helping their friends. I worked there off and on for three years, and while nobody’s saying that waiting tables is next to godliness, I can say that you’d be hard-pressed to find a better work environment, and that’s the rarest of compliments when it comes to Jersey diners.

(As a point of comparison, I once worked at another diner, which shall remain nameless. On my fourth day of employment, after being harassed from the first minute about keeping up with their post-Steinbrenner wardrobe and grooming requirements, I showed up for a shift with sideburns that reached about two-thirds of the way to my ear lobes. My manager instructed me to go home, trim the sideburns down to where they met my hairline, then come back to work and finish my shift. I went home, but I did not return, and I have not set foot in that diner since.)

With the closing of the Harvest Diner, the Chekhovian drama of our lives as confirmed (if reluctant) townies comes to a crashing climax. Our hangout spot is deserting us just as our precious youth is doing the same. It may seem overwrought, but the whole point of the Harvest, far beyond being a place to get breakfast at any hour, was to be the great, comforting constant in the lives of its beloved regulars. We all have stories in which the Harvest plays a key part; having been a fixture there for some ten years, I probably have more than most. Inside jokes were born there; strangers discovered mutual interests and became friends within its green-and-yellow booths. The Harvest was the trusty nightwatchman of our past, and as long as it stood, our past was safe and our youth preserved. Now that it is saying goodbye, we are shaken into an understanding of our mortality. If the Harvest and all of those wonderful times there can just vanish, so, then, can we.

As this is happening, I am twenty-six years old. I have a 9-to-5 job and student loan payments. I am looking at homes in other towns. I am preparing to leave my old neighborhood, and though wherever I go will not be far, the closing of the Harvest is a cold reminder that life is changing. Of course, not all moments of transition carry the kind of Last Picture Show gloom that I’ve been insinuating. I’m sure the changes in my life will spur growth, maturity, independence, responsibility–all those sacred middle-class values. One day I may even be able to behave like a proper adult. I will be fine, and my friends will be fine. But the Harvest, sadly, will not be there to go back to.

Good luck to my friends, the Savva family, and all those currently employed at Harvest. And thank you.

Here’s a link to the original blog post…. http://michaelroyfisher.wordpress.com/2013/01/17/euology-for-the-harvest-diner/

On a further note, I read in the last couple of days that the diner will close but eventually reopen in the spring with a new name and a new look by the owners of the Sage Diner of Mt. Laurel, NJ…. LAC

Author Event slated for Bestsellers Cafe in Medford, Mass.
January 27, 2013

diners-of-mass-front-cvr-final

I arranged an Author Event with Rob Dilman owner of the newly reopened Bestsellers Cafe in Medford, Mass. (the city I grew up in). I have gotten together a small group of local authors to participate. With the exception of myself all the other authors have published books about Medford either thru Arcadia Publishing (Images of America books) and/or from my publisher, The History Press. The other authors include Anthony Mitchell Sammarco, author of “Medford” (Arcadia) as well as countless other titles from the Greater Boston area. Barbara Kerr who authored “Medford in the Victorian Era” for Arcadia and “Glimpses of Medford” for The History Press. Dee Morris authored “Medford, A Brief History” for The History Press (among other local titles) and Patricia Saunders who wrote “Medford – Then & Now” for Arcadia.

We will all be signing copies of our books as well as speaking about them. The event will take place at Bestsellers cafe, 24 High Street, Medford, Mass. on Jan. 27th, Sunday afternoon, 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm. Check out Bestsellers Cafe’s website for directions, etc…..
http://www.bestsellers-cafe.com/event

DIVCO – America’s favorite Milk Truck_Intro 101


A graphic I created from a photo of a Divco nameplate

Along with my obsession with diners and long-time passion for the music of Tommy James & the Shondells, there is another interest that has held my attention for a good portion of my life. I am going to call it the little truck that could! I grew up in the 1950’s and 1960’s and as many of my contemporaries would remember, during that time period there was still plenty of home-delivery happening. I recall the Cushman Bakery delivery cars, usually Ford or Chevy panel station wagons. Here is an image I found of the great Cushman logo I remember from those delivery wagons…..


I  found the above image on this website…… http://diggingdowneast.blogspot.com/2010/09/those-places-thursday-cushmans-bakery.html

But most of all, I remember the many local dairies delivering milk and other dairy products to my neighborhood. Most of the milk delivery trucks were built by a concern originally known as the Detroit Industrial Vehicle Company which became more universally known as DIVCO. One of the things that made these the coolest vehicles coming down the street every day was the fact that the drivers could either sit in a seat or stand to operate the vehicle!

Back in the late 1990’s I became a member of the Divco Club of America (DCoA) check out…..  http://www.divco.org/ . My interest in Divcos was renewed by a couple of things which I explained in an article I wrote for the November 1999 edition of the DCoA newsletter, the Divco News. Here is that resurrected article…….

DIVCO MEMORIES BY LAWRENCE CULTRERA (#628)

Hot Times with a Cool Truck

Growing up in the 50’s and 60’s, I have great recollections of the many dairies delivering their wares in what seemed like an armada of Divcos throughout the metropolitan Boston area. On my street alone there had to be 3 or 4 dairies delivering to not only my family’s house but to many of my neighbors as well. I can remember Whitings (they delivered to our house), Buttrick’s Dairy, United Farmers and of course Hood’s Milk, the largest in the area! I thought these were the neatest trucks especially because the drivers could drive them standing up! I have talked with other people of my age group who have the same memories of going up to a driver on a hot summer’s day and asking for a piece of ice to cool you down. It wasn’t the same when the trucks became refrigerated, no more ice!! !

Well of course as time went by, these milk trucks started disappearing, when more and more people started buying their milk, butter and other dairy products at the supermarkets. By the late 60’s there just didn’t seem to be a great need for these home deliveries anymore. In fact, Hood was probably the last of the dairies in my area even offering home delivery and they were not using Divcos anymore but GMC or other make refrigerated trucks were and still are in service.

In 1971 I graduated from high school and was friendly with someone who happened to be a member of the Medford Auxiliary Fire Department. I was interested and decided to join. The Auxiliary Fire Dept. is an all volunteer unit that comes under the Civil Defense jurisdiction and helps the regular Fire Dept. in usually any fire situation over a second alarm. When I joined in 1971, the Auxiliary had 2 trucks at their disposal, Engine #9 was a 1950’s Ford which was more for forest fires (it did not have a large capacity pump). The second vehicle they had was Lighting Unit #22 an old Divco one of 2 donated to the city (probably from Hood Milk) for use as they were needed. I don’t know what happened to the 2nd one but the Divco that became Lighting Unit #22 was in service from 1970-73.


M
edford Auxiliary Fire Department Lighting Unit # 22
photo courtesy of the archives of the late Edward Woodbridge
past Captain of the Medford Auxiliary Fire Department

It was a riot to see this thing come down the street with all it’s flashing lights and siren going, (it had the loudest siren in the city!). The truck was equipped with a large generator, at least 5kwatts and all sorts of waterproof lights with cables to light up fire scenes at night. It was used quite a bit. I rode in it to a couple of fires and at least one large parade. Unfortunately I never got to drive it! By 1973 the Auxilliary Fire Department was offered another used truck, this one was a newer Dodge Stepvan which was larger than the old Divco. The Divco was phased out of service when the new truck was being rehabbed. The last time I saw the Divco it was sitting in a junk yard in Charlestown, MA not far from the old Hood Plant! It was sad to see it there and I know it probably did not live too long after that.

I did not think too much about Divcos for many years, in fact I got deeply involved with what I like to call an ongoing personal research project on that ubiquitous American restaurant, the Diner. Since 1980 I have been documenting with photographs diners throughout the eastern US. At last count the log has over 766 entries of diners from Maine to Florida and as far west as Chicago. In my collecting of diner memorabilia I managed to get the set of 7 model diners Danbury Mint put out a few years ago, which put me on their mailing list.

Of course I was excited 2 years ago when Danbury Mint put out the Borden’s Divco Model and had to get it! This past January I got a Classic Motorbooks catalog in the mail and for the first time saw Bob Ebert and John Rienzo’s Divco book advertised. I was amazed! I quickly sent away for it and was not disappointed when it finally came. It spurred me on to become a member of the DCoA.

In reading the book, I was intrigued to find out that we even had a Divco dealership in my hometown in the 1930’s. I called John Rienzo and asked him about this fact and he got right back to me with the answer, it was called Teel Truck Sales at #4 Mystic Avenue. I personally know that this address has not existed since the late 1950’s when all the buildings in that block were tom down to make way for the new Fire & Police headquarters that was built circa 1960.

Since becoming a member of the DCoA, I thought more and more about the old Lighting Unit #22 and decided to see if I could obtain a photo of it. I myself had never photographed it, so I turned to the former Captain of the Auxiliary Fire Dept., Ed Woodbridge. I went and visited Ed a few months ago and went through his photo collection. I was rewarded with a decent driver’s-side view of the truck parked in a local shopping center parking lot. I estimate the shot to be 1972 or 73 because on close examination I could see an old friend, Richard Pelland in the driver’s seat. I borrowed the picture and scanned it as well as made a couple of slide copies for my collection. I don’t know if it was the only Divco ever used in a Fire fighting capacity, but it’s the only one I know of!

During the time period that I was a member of  the DCoA (1998 thru 2010), I had managed to photograph quite a few Divco trucks. I even attended a local car & truck show about 3 years ago that a number of my fellow DCoA members from Massachusetts attended with their vehicles.

Around 1998 or so when Denise and I had bought some flowers to plant at a farm stand/garden center located on Lynn Street in South Peabody, Massachusetts I was surprised to see this old Divco milk truck on the property. It obviously had not moved in years. I asked a lady who worked there (I assume she was an owner) about the old truck, she told me the reason it was there was that they still used the refrigerated back compartment of the truck for storage as the compressor was still working. So I snapped 2 shots of the old truck and we went home.


old Divco in Peabody, Mass. – photo by Larry Cultrera


old Divco in Peabody, Mass. – photo by Larry Cultrera

On the way home I started thinking of this Divco I just took the photos of and thought of another photo I took back in the early 1980’s of a building that was on the adjacent property to this same garden center we were just at. This building was very unique, it was the L.K. Newhall Filling Station, an old fashioned style of gas station that was still operating at that time. It was the type that sat hard by the sidewalk and had 2 gas pumps virtually on the street. I drove by it a lot in the 1980’s and even recall getting gas there once, just for the novelty. One day I decided to finally take one photo of this place from across the street for posterity.


L.K. Newhall’s Filling Station – circa early 1980’s photo by Larry Cultrera

To continue,  when we were driving home from picking up the plants I thought of this photo and realized that the angle of the shot as I remembered it was worth looking at again as the Divco truck should have been visible in it. Sure enough once I got home and dug up the photo, there was a small portion of the Divco peeking out from behind the filling station…


As you can see, there is the Divco truck peeking out from behind the filling station. Interestingly, the old filling station building is still there but it is no longer used. – circa 1980’s photo by Larry Cultrera

Another local Divco I knew about was owned by the late Chris Kiley of Saugus. Chris bought the used truck from a concern located in the Brockton, Mass. area (as I recall) back in the late 1980’s or early 1990’s (I’m not sure of the date he bought it). He wanted to do a minor restoration to the truck in homage to his family’s former dairy that was once located in nearby Melrose. I called him up one day and asked him if I could come over and shoot some photos of the truck and he gave me his approval!


Chris Kiley’s –  Kiley Farm Divco, photo by Larry Cultrera


Chris Kiley’s –  Kiley Farm Divco, photo by Larry Cultrera


Chris Kiley’s –  Kiley Farm Divco, photo by Larry Cultrera


Chris Kiley’s –  Kiley Farm Divco, photo by Larry Cultrera

Not long after I took those photos, Chris drove the truck in a parade that took place in Melrose……


Chris Kiley’s truck in a parade….. photo by Larry Cultrera

I was saddened to hear that Chris passed away suddenly this past year. I understand that his son and some friends got the old truck running after being in storage for a few years and it was driven in the funeral procession in his dad’s honor!

Just the other day my good friend Beth Lennon (aka, Mod-Betty) of Retro-Roadmap blog (www.retroroadmap.com) did a post on Christiansen’s Dairy of North Providence, RI and mentioned their fleet of Divco Milk Trucks in daily use, check it out here…… http://www.retroroadmap.com/2012/10/26/christiansens-milk-glass-bottles-delivered-vintage-milk-trucks-north-providence-ri/

I was also happy to read a blurb about Beth’s blog in the Travel Section of today’s Boston Sunday Globe……  http://www.bostonglobe.com/lifestyle/travel/2012/10/27/the-tip-retroroadmap-com/JJuMQfoOxevmObm8LJptAI/story.html

Congratulations Beth, you deserve it!

I went thru the archives and realized I have so many photos of Divco trucks that this post will serve as an intro to a separate page that will be accessed at the top of my blog under the header, right next to the link for my “Tommy James and the Shondells” page. I will be creating that page in the next few days in honor of the 5th Anniversary of the Diner Hotline blog, (this coming Wednesday, October 31st). Here is the link for the new Diner Hotline DIVCO page….
https://dinerhotline.wordpress.com/diner-hotlines-divco-page/

Diner Hotline marking 30 Years of documenting Diners!

I always consider the weekend of Thanksgiving, specifically the Saturday after the Holiday, the anniversary of when I tentatively shot my first 35mm photo of a Diner. The actual date is November 29th (this coming Monday) but who’s counting? Me of course! It seems almost unbelievable that 30 years has gone by since that gray Saturday in Harrisburg, PA. I was with my brother Rick and old friend Scott Drown and we were visiting Steve Repucci whom we had helped moved to H’Burg the previous Labor Day Weekend.

The three of us had driven down from Massachusetts the day before and as I recall, our route down took us out I-90 to I-86 (a few years later I-86 was to be absorbed by I-84 in MA & CT), then I-84 all the way out to Scranton, PA, where we headed south on I-81.

I also recall the highway was shrouded in the thickest fog I have ever driven through, between Scranton and Harrisburg! I am glad it was the middle of the day, still it was one of the scariest rides I have ever been on!

Anyway, I do not recall what we did that Friday after we got down to Harrisburg but I know the next morning we drove down the street from where Steve and his room-mate Ed Womer were residing to the Bypass Diner on Herr Street (Rte. 22 bypass) in Harrisburg for breakfast. After the meal we went outside and I took out the old 35mm Mamiya camera and shot a photo from the left front of the diner.


Bypass Diner, Harrisburg, PA – Nov. 29, 1980 photo by Larry Cultrera
The diner has been operating for many years as the American Dream Diner

That is my 1979 blue Chevy Van in the parking lot. I drove that 271,000 miles between April of 1979 and December of 1988 and needless to say, a huge portion of that mileage (and time) was spent hunting Diners!

Since that day I have shot probably into the thousands of photos of diners throughout the northeast states as far down as Virginia and Tennessee, (skipped the Carolinas) and been able to document at least one in Georgia (Marietta Diner, Marietta) and then down to Florida to shoot a few more. I’ve also documented diners as far west as Ohio, Michigan and Illinois. According to my database diner log I have documented 815 diners with negative, slide and digital photography.

I have met some interesting people in the last 30 years including Richard & Kellie Gutman, John Baeder, David Hebb, Brian Butko, Randy Garbin, Glenn Wells, Mike Engle and Beth Lennon. I also want to acknowledge Diner owners who have become close friends…. Bob Fennell of the Capitol Diner,  Lynn, Mass. and Bill Nichols of the Rosebud Diner, Somerville, Mass. and Phil Paleologos of the Shawmut Diner, New Bedford, Mass.

I cannot forget to include the late Warren Jones, former owner of the Apple Tree Diner of Deham, Mass. as well as the late Owen Abdalian, former owner of the Main Street Diner of Woburn, Mass. who each passed away way too early and hold a special place in my memories.

Most of all I also want to acknowledge my wonderful wife Denise, who puts up with me, the collection of memorabilia and the obsession! Hopefully, I will continue this quest and be able to document more diners, although the long road trips have dwindled to a very few as years have gone by, and I will continue my efforts of passing along info to you my faithful readers with this blog, Diner Hotline!

Disclaimer: to be clear, this is not the 30th anniversary of the creation of Diner Hotline, just the 30th anniversary of shooting my first Diner photograph, the beginning of my efforts to document the American Diner, which of course spawned the creation of Diner Hotline in 1988 – LAC

Notes from the Hotline, 11/21/2010

Diner 317 opens in Plaistow, NH


New sign for Diner 317, photo by Larry Cultrera

I got an email from the intrepid Bob Higgins on Thursday. He let me know that Diner 317 opened on Rte. 125 in Plaistow, NH. This was the location of Eggie’s Diner for many years. Eggie’s Diner (the business) moved to a new location in nearby Atkinson, NH earlier this year leaving the early 1950’s Mountain View diner empty. The new partnership of John Woods, his cousin Chris Woods and Justin Behling embarked upon a much needed sprucing up of the building which included completely gutting and then installing a new kitchen. In the diner proper they insisted on  keeping any original details that remained original, installing new lighting and custom made tables with benches!


Sunrise at Diner 317, photo by Larry Cultrera

Denise & I went for breakfast on Saturday morning and I was impressed with the cleanliness as well as the extensive menu. I had a great breakfast and Denise enjoyed the home-made biscuits (almost like dinner rolls) that came from John’s grandmother’s recipe.


Front view of Diner 317 showing the new handicap access ramp leading to the side entrance, photo by Larry Cultrera

Right now, their opening hours are 5:00 AM to 8:00 PM Monday thru Friday. Also they are going to see how 11:00 PM to 2:00 AM hours work for Thursday, Friday and Saturday as well. This of course may change. Diner 317 is located at 127 Plaistow Road (Rte. 125) in Plaistow, NH.

Richard Gutman’s Slide lecture well attended

My brothers Steve and Rick and I attended Dick Gutman’s slide lecture yesterday at the National Heritage Museum in Lexington, Mass. (my sister-in-law Ann also popped in). It was as usual, well attended! The presentation was the latest in the Museum’s Lowell lecture Series and a coming home of sorts for Mr. Gutman who has assisted the Museum on a slew of different projects many times over the years as well as guest curated along with his wife Kellie two major exhibits there. The first being the landmark “American Diners Then & Now” (1995) and the second “Summer Camp” exhibit (2000).

Dick Gutman’s lecture was called “What Is It about Diners? More Than a Meal, That’s for Sure”, but it could easily have been entitled “Dick Gutman and his Diner Adventures”. It sort of gave a loose account of his personal odyssey researching the history of diners as well as the many memorable characters he has met in his travels!

I was interested to run into 2 people at the lecture that had attended my own slide presentation in Easton this past July. I also met a long-time reader of Diner Hotline – Stefanie Klavens, who had contributed a major article entitled “Art of Movie Theaters” for the Fall, 2003 edition of the SCA (Society for Commercial Archeology) Journal Magazine. This magazine of course is where my own Diner Hotline column ran for 19 years. In fact that particular edition of my column featured “The Origin of Diner Hotline”!

Also attending was John Margarita of Gardner, Mass. who I had not seen in probably 15 years. John had made a video on Diners (that I appeared in) that became a thesis for a graduate degree he received from Cambridge College.

The biggest surprise for me came after the lecture when most of the audience had left. A young man came up to me and called me by name and introduced himself, he said Larry? I’m Mike from the Triangle Diner! I was floored! Mike Lessin who is in the process of completely restoring the Triangle Diner of Winchester, VA, had actually flown up to Boston just to attend the lecture!

We talked for a few minutes then I brought him over so he could meet Dick Gutman who was also amazed and delighted that Mike had made this extreme effort to attend.

New Links in my Blog Roll

Matt & Andrea Simmons’ Clash of the Palates blog

My good friend Matt Simmons and his wife Andrea just started an interesting blog that is appearing through Randy Garbin’s “Riding Shotgun” feature at Roadside  Online. Matt co-wrote with me my post entitled “The Story of the The Abandoned Luncheonette, AKA the Rosedale Diner” post (from August 14th). See…… https://dinerhotline.wordpress.com/2010/08/14/the-story-of-the-the-abandoned-luncheonette-aka-the-rosedale-diner/.

Anyway, Matt and Andrea’s new blog is called “Clash of the Palates” and is basically a review of different restaurants that they check out and usually they each have opinions that differ, making for a point/counterpoint type of  review. Check it out at…..http://www.roadsideonline.com/clash-of-the-palates.

The Diner Project by Warren Green

I recently heard from Warren Green who told me he had also attended my recent slide presentation in July. He sent me a link to his new Website called “The Eclectic Light Company”. This website features his photographs but more important here, he has a page called “The Diner Project”. Check it out at….. http://www.eclecticlightcompany.com/Other/Statement-Diner-Project/14372321_wH8XH.

Theatre Historical Society website and readerboard

Karen Colizzi Noonan recently sent some sample copies of the Theatre Historical Society’s “Marquee” Magazine (Karen is the President of this organization). This was brought to my attention by Beth Lennon of Retro Roadmap http://retroroadmap.com/ who had made a mention in her blog about this and told her readers that for a limited time they could also get some free copies of this magazine as an introduction to this organization that has been around since 1969. So I took advantage of the offer.

Karen emailed me and said she had seen Diner Hotline and wanted to put a link to it on her readerboard. I of course said please do, and that I would reciprocate. So here are 2 links, one to the Website and one to the readerboard. check them out at…. http://www.historictheatres.org/
and…. http://theatrehistoricalsociety.wordpress.com/

Capitol Diner exterior improvements complete!

Bob Fennell of the Captiol Diner (Lynn, Mass.) every few years has to get his 1929 Brill diner repainted. This year was the year it needed to be done. The place was scraped down and some imperfections were corrected and the whole building was primed and then painted. This was all done by the end of August. The only thing that did not happen was the lettering on the outside walls were not repainted. He decided to have new vinyl “decal” type lettering made by the same sign company that used to paint the lettering.


Capitol Diner with primer paint, June 2010 photo by Larry Cultrera


Capitol Diner with new paint job and vinyl lettering
Photo November 21, 2010 by Larry Cultrera

Bel-Aire Diner goes “Aire” borne……


Bel-Aire Diner right after being slid down the beams into the parking lot
by Gary Sylvester’s Building Movers and Excavators yesterday.

As I have mentioned in the previous recent Bel-Aire Diner posts, I drive by the diner on U.S. Rte. 1 usually twice a day (Monday thru Friday), to and from work. Ironically Wednesday was one day I did not drive by in the afternoon as I had errands to do in Medford and Somerville and it was quicker for me to bypass Rte. 1 south and instead take I-95 to I-93 to get to my destinations.


rear view of the diner as I approached from where I parked my car.

Wednesday morning the diner was still the way it has been since the early 1950’s although during the previous 3 weeks, crews had been excavating the parking lot behind and to the right of the diner as well as dismantling the service bays of the gas station next door in anticipation of the redevelopment of the site.


diner now in parking lot next to the tall roadside sign

So driving north on Thursday morning at 5:50 am, I looked over at the diner and was surprised to notice the cinder block kitchen addition had been torn down the day before! Well Thursday afternoon I also had to be somewhere but had enough time to drive by the site and noticed the diner was newly jacked up off the foundation and the movers had beams under the diner ready for rolling the building forward into the parking lot.


opposite view of the diner next to sign

I immediately got on the horn and called Dick Gutman, Steve Repucci, Randy Garbin, Beth Lennon and Ron Dylewski to alert them that the diner was in fact being moved (Diner Hotline, Diner Hotline!). I continued on to my appointment and as soon as I was done with that, I went home and got my camera and drove back to the diner.


rear view from right side with workman checking under the diner

I shot all these photos and met Gary Sylvester whose company was contracted to move the diner. He told me that he thought the diner might be moving to Lowell, Mass. but was not really sure. My take on this is that the diner will be temporarily stored in the front parking lot prior to being transported to parts unknown.


looking at the broken foundation and cellar hole


another view from right hand side with sign


walking back to the car, I turned and took this shot

Notes from the Hotline, 7-8-2010

Diner Slide Presentaion in North Easton, Mass.

I will be doing one of my Diner Slide Presentations toward the end of this month. It will be held at The Ames Free Library of North Easton, Mass. on July 29, 2010. The show starts at 6:30 pm.


The Ames Free Library, North Easton, Mass. A handsome 1877 building
designed by the famed architect, Henry Hobson Richardson

In this presentation, I show how this American Institution has evolved from the horse drawn Lunch Wagons of the late 19th century to the large ultra-modern Diner-Restaurants of the 21st century. I also include a section on some of the local New England diners that people can visit, if they are so inclined!

Here is a link to the Library’s website… http://www.amesfreelibrary.org/index.htm

Diner Photos by Beth Lennon of Retro Road Map
included in Wildwood, NJ exhibit


Angelo’s Diner, Glassboro, NJ – Photo by Beth Lennon

Our good friend, Beth Lennon has a group of her Southern New Jersey Diner photos on exhibit for the month of July in wonderful Wildwood, NJ!  Beth has the hugely popular Retro Roadmap blog at http://retroroadmap.com/, probably my most favorite blog (after Diner Hotline of course!). Here is the mention of it from the July 8th Shore News Today….

WILDWOOD – Beth Lennon of Phoenixville, Pa. recently announced that a selection of her photos of southern New Jersey vintage diners will be on display in Wildwood, throughout July.  The exhibit will be at The Doo Wop Experience in celebration of their ‘Manufactured Diner Month’.
Lennon is the owner of RetroRoadmap.com – a travel blog dedicated to all things retro, vintage and mod.  The Web site includes her photos and experiences from her travels across the United States visiting what she describes as ‘cool old places’.  Her photographs have been used by cartoonist Dan Goodsell.
The Doo Wop Experience is located across from the Wildwoods Convention Center at Ocean Avenue between Burk and Montgomery Avenues.  The exhibit is free to the public and is open Tuesday – Sunday from 10 a.m. to noon and 5 to 10 p.m.  For more information see www.doowopusa.org.

Here is Beth’s list of the diner photographs she has on exhibit…

Angelo’s Diner
26 North Main Street
Glassboro, NJ 08028
(856) 881-9854
1951 Kullman diner

At The Hop Diner
411 South Pomona Road
Egg Harbor City, NJ 08215
(609) 804-1950
1952 O’Mahony diner

Deepwater Diner
552 Shell Road
Carneys Point NJ 08069
(856) 299-1411
1958 Silk City diner

Elgin Diner
2621 Mount Ephraim Avenue
Camden, NJ 08104
(856) 962-0202
1958 Kullman diner

Forked River Diner
317 South Main Street
Forked River, NJ 08731
(609) 693-2222
c.1960 Kullman diner

Mustache Bill’s Diner
Broadway & 8th Street
Barnegat Light, NJ 08006
(609) 494-0155
1958 Fodero diner

Salem Oak Diner
106 Broadway Road
Salem, NJ 08079
(856) 935-1305
1955 Silk City diner

Report of Plaistow, NH’s Eggie’s Diner may be in jeopardy


Eggie’s Diner, Rte. 125, Plaistow, NH – Although the diner is covered in wood instead of its original stainless steel skin, it still has a lot of integrity left on the inside.

Diner Fan Bob Higgins emailed me 2 days ago with some news on Eggie’s Diner of Plaistow, NH. It does not look good for this 1950’s vintage Mountain View Diner. Here is what Bob said in the email….

The diner is closed up and vacant as of the beginning of July. The business has moved to another location in Plastow. There are some surveyors stakes and markings around the diner property. It has been for sale for a long time.

I hope that someone can save this diner, it probably would not take much to at least get it into storage and out of harm’s way.