The Deluxe Town Diner in Watertown
(Globe staff photo by Bill Polo)
It's community and atmosphere and regulars. It's historic character and comfortable booths and french fries. And, oh yeah, long hours. Really long, brutal hours.
Ask anyone what makes a diner a diner. You'll hear about the food, the building, and the history. But for all the enthusiasm, for all the nostalgia, diners are disappearing because they are so tough to run. Nationally, the number of diners has dropped from 5,000 to about 1,500 over the last 55 years, staff writer Lisa Kocian reports in today's Globe West.
It's a problem Shrewsbury officials have wrestled with for two decades. The town acquired the Edgemere Diner, a streamlined classic on Route 20, in 1987 because the owners stopped paying property taxes. After years of renting it out on short-term leases, two years at a time to start, the town decided this summer to offer a better deal. It tried to sell the diner car, made in 1948 by the Fodero Dining Car Co. of New Jersey, with a 20-year lease of the land in order to give a new proprietor incentive to invest in the business and make improvements.
But no one wanted to take it on.
Read more about the struggle to keep classic diners open in the online edition of today's Globe West.
Globe West is also telling the story in pictures, via an online photo gallery.
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