Ever dream of owning your own restaurant? The Moran Square Diner in Fitchburg could be yours for just $99,900.
The classic yellow-and-red diner has been a mainstay in this industrial city since the 1940s, serving up pancakes, bacon, eggs, potatoes, and other comfort foods to hungry customers for decades.
Located where Myrtle Avenue meets the intersection of Main and Lunenburg streets, the future of this quaint little restaurant is now up in the air.
Anne O’Connor, a writer and lifelong Fitchburg resident, said she went to the Moran Square Diner on Oct. 6 and planned to order chocolate chip pancakes but was surprised to see the diner looking “ominously empty.”
Then she saw the closed sign in the window. O’Connor had been going to the diner since the 1960s and had been a frequent customer, eating there a few times a month.
“I was just very sad,” she said. “It was the end of something that had been a staple of my life.”
Originally built by the Worcester Lunch Car Manufacturing Company, the diner is a throwback to a simpler time. The interior of the lunch car is cozy and seats 32 people. For patrons dining solo, there’s a row of red cushioned stools along the counter, and for those eating with company, there are several wooden booths with window views.
According to the listing on the Keller Williams Realty website, the 884-square-foot diner comes with parking for up to 10 vehicles, and additional parking is available on a nearby side street.
“Here is a unique opportunity to purchase property with a piece of history,” the listing states. “An original Worcester Lunch Car placed at this site in the 1940’s. Owner has maintained the authenticity of this Lunch Car through the years. A staple of the Moran Square area with great visibility and high traffic counts.”
Stanley Howe, a realtor with Keller Williams Realty, said the diner has been on the market for over a year and the price was recently reduced to $99,900.
The diner itself, he said, “is now closed.”
The current owners, Chris and Mary Giannetti, could not be reached for comment.
O’Connor took a photo of the closed sign and posted it on her blog, Faqs from the past.
“There was no warning the diner would close, no last hurrah,” she wrote on her blog. “I pulled up expecting a good feed and real newspapers to read. Instead, I read a computer-printed sign on the window from my driver’s seat. ‘Diner closed. Thank you for your years of patronage.’ Just a week before, everything had been normal. . . . The place bustled.”
O’Connor doesn’t know what the future holds for the diner. She hopes the old-fashioned dining car will be preserved. What she fears is the possibility that it could disappear completely and become “one more place you go past and say, ‘Take a left where the diner used to be.’ ”
Who knows, maybe someone out there wants to pick up where the current owners left off. She can only hope.
“It’s a spiffy little place,” she said. “It’s unique.”Emily Sweeney can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @emilysweeney.