Diner News and History

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Saturday, August 23, 2008

Fish Tale Diner - Salisbury, MA

Leaving Supreme Roast Beef the trip continued on Route 133. When we reached the intersection of U.S. Route 1 and Route 133 in Rowley, MA, we saw the diner that prompted the former Agawam to move to Salisbury in 1970. What stands there today is a 1954 Fodero diner. The trip continued about another seven and half miles. Traffic came to a halt on the Newburyport side of the Merrimack River, across from the diner. Shortly thereafter, the deck of the bridge raised allowing three or four sailboats through.

Upon arrival this 1940 Worcester Lunch Car Company diner looked about the same as when we last visited it at the end of June 2005. It was a bright and sunny day, so everyone chose to sit outside on the deck overlooking the Merrimack River. Diner fans know the best seat is always at the counter. Though there's no opportunity to chat with the grillman here. The Fish Tale is another diner utilizing an attached kitchen for all food preparation and cooking. The back bar is used for a mix of coffee machines, drink dispensers, refrigerated units and storage.

As we sat waiting for our late breakfast we looked over the diner. This diner returned to the Worcester Lunch Car Company seven years after its manufacture for refurbishing. While the Fish Tale retains many of the essential diner elements, it does have something not often seen in Worcester diners--Seeburg Consolettes. Notice the Gumwood ceiling in the upper right of this picture.

On the diner design drawing above, it noted the lineoleum table and counter top being Crimson Red. Currently the pattern is a fresh looking white with grey and black flecks. Car #762 was meant to be as economical as possible. It has the porcelain enamel walls instead of tile. No cushions was specified for the booth seats.Perhaps the seat cushions were added when it returned to the factory. The stool tops and seat cushions are covered in the same burnt orange color. Orange is also the color in the stained glass above the windows.

Not often seen is this particular floor tile pattern pictured at right. We usually see an offset pattern of four rectangular tiles with a small square center tile. The design drawing above notes the same pattern was used in Sherwood's diner.

Centered in this picture is the refrigerator. The surfaces are #12 Ivory and edges of the doors are black. In the right corner of the photo, next to the refrigerator is a common feature. A work counter with color matched six storage drawers below. Just visible at the top right of the photo is the hood. Two bill of fares are installed on the hood. Each Lynn Sign Company bill of fare has a wood framed door covering the three panels underneath.

Time was of the essence and we were back on the road toward our next stop.

Fish Tale
420 Bridge Rd.
Salisbury, MA
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* The original Worcester Lunch Car Company diner drawings are held in a private collection. Copies were provided to us by Randy Garbin.

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