My friends Diane and Lee Wolf, owners of the Lobster Shanty in downtown Salem, Mass. are planning to open a restaurant called the Ugly Mug Diner soon, right around the corner from the Lobster Shanty. Here is a press release about their efforts……
Local Restaurateurs Seek Crowd Funding to Bring Unique Diner to Salem
February 3, 2014, Salem, Mass. — Salem residents Diane and Lee Wolf are hoping to open a diner at 122 Washington Street, previous home of A Taste of Thyme Café. Since 2007, the couple has owned and operated the popular Lobster Shanty on Artists’ Row, which was featured in an episode of the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. The plan for the new eatery, dubbed The Ugly Mug Diner, is to create a fun, funky combination of old and new. The diner will offer handmade, fresh foods that are locally sourced when possible while maintaining a classic diner atmosphere with weekly specials and breakfast served all day.
All photos courtesy of Diane Wolf
exterior of the building that will house the Ugly Mug Diner. It is going into the spot on the right-hand side of the building where the blue & white sign is in the window.
A close-up showing the storefront for the new establishment
“Our laser-like focus on the food will set us apart from other breakfast spots,” said Ms. Wolf, a graduate of the Culinary Arts program at Johnson & Wales University. “We’ll be a full-service diner with culinary professionals in the kitchen. We will cure our own bacon, serve farm-fresh eggs, smoke our own salmon for bagels, and whip our own cream. We have fostered relationships with local farmers, including Maitland Mountain Farms here in Salem, to provide us with the best foods to offer our guests.” The Wolfs are sourcing capital from several places, including RocketHub, a crowd-funding website that recently garnered attention for its partnership with A&E Networks. The couple’s goal is to raise $50,000 through RocketHub by the end of February. Within the first 12 hours of the project going live, dozens of friends and several city leaders had contributed.
Interior detail showing the counter and stools
Here is another interior shot looking from behind the counter toward the dining area.
Hoping crowdsourcing will help turn their diner dream into a reality, the couple is offering incentives such as the contributor’s name engraved on a dining room chair, naming rights to a menu item, a VIP dinner for six at the diner, and an in-home cooking class for six. More information on the diner and the crowdsourcing plant is at http://www.rockethub.com/projects/38812-partner-with-the-ugly-mug-diner-launch-a-new-community-breakfast-joint https://www.facebook.com/uglymugsalem
Even though I tend to prefer a classic factory-built diner, that does not stop me from patronizing on-site/storefront diners. I am looking forward to checking this place out when they open! Diane informs me that it might happen next month and we’ll be there!