Diner News and History

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Former Big Dig Diner - Boston, MA

An article about this diner's future appeared online today. Though here's a little background on this Silk City Diner, built in 1946 by the Paterson Vehicle Company of Paterson, NJ. According to Mario Monti's book, A Directory of Diners - 3rd Edition, this diner has been known as the Windmill Diner in Ono, PA, Fern's Diner in Norristown, NJ, and the Exton Diner in Exton, PA.

In 1995 it left Diversified Diners after being restored and was installed at 4 Drydock Avenue, in Boston, MA. Once there it served as the culinary training center for the Log School Settlement House. The organization modeled their Big Dig Diner Project after the Chesapeake Center for Youth Development's culinary training at the Hollywood Diner in Baltimore, MD. It operated for a few years, though due to financial issues, the Big Dig Diner closed in 2003.

The photograph in the upper right shows the diner's exterior in June 2005. Since the diner sat upon city land, they were anxious to get rid of it. On Wednesday, October 11, 2006, the diner was put up for auction, yet failed to find a buyer. The picture to the left taken a few weeks after the auction, shows various interior items were sold. Here's an article about the diner written in October 2006.

Several months later, when updating our records, we were surprised to find a blank spot in the Google map where the diner once stood. Checking Google's StreetView confirmed this.

In 2007 the diner was moved back to Diversified Diners and began the restoration process one more time. On Monday it's expected the former Big Dig Diner will arrive in Grafton, OH. It will then be known as Nancy's Mainstreet Diner. Grafton is located about 15 miles from Lake Erie.

Though O'Mahony and Worcester manufactured diners are commonly found throughout Massachusetts, we wondered if there are any other Silk City diners remaining. Tim's, in Leominster is one we visited in July 2005.

When we have more information about Nancy's, we'll post it here.

For more pictures of diners, we invite you to visit our flickr photostream here.

Diversified Diners
Cleveland, OH

Nancy's Mainstreet Diner
426 North Main Street
Grafton, OH
View Map

Tim's Diner
15 Water St.
Leominster, MA
View Map

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Randylou October 6, 2008 at 7:03 PM  

There are two other Silk Citys in Massachusetts. Lou-Roc's Diner in Worcester and the former Delligan's Diner, which is in private storage in Conway.

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