Fitchburg’s Moran Square Diner Closes Its Doors

October 8, 2018

The Moran Square Diner in Fitchburg sits empty on Sunday, closed after decades of operation. SENTINEL & ENTERPRISE / NICK MALLARD Sentinel and Enterprise staff photos can be ordered by visiting our SmugMug site.

FITCHBURG -- The scene at the Moran Square Diner was far from normal on Sunday morning.

The usual sounds of clinking silverware and pleasant chatter were gone, replaced by the rattles and hum of traffic passing by. The smiles of patrons enjoying a hearty breakfast were noticeably absent, replaced by the abyss of an empty, dark diner.

Those whose weekend rituals include breakfast at the diner -- modeled after a train car and constructed by Worcester Lunch Car and Carriage in the early to mid 1900s -- were met with a closed sign in the windows, accompanied by a note reading “DINER CLOSED. Thank you for your years of patronage.”

Many who pulled into the parking lot simply turned around and left, never exiting their vehicles. Those who stopped expressed some sadness.

“I used to come here quite a bit when I lived in Fitchburg,” said Tim Welsh of Worcester. “I try to stop in when I’m around now. It’s really sad to see it closed like this.”

A listing on Keller Williams Realty has a price of $199,900 for the diner, which first opened in 1940 and served food 24 hours a day for nearly a decade after its establishment. Bought by Chris and Mary Gianetti in 1999 for $130,000, the diner changed little in appearance from the time it first opened until the present.

“It looks like what a diner should look like,” said Sue Fields of Fitchburg after stopping to find the diner closed. “It has that old-diner feel, the train-car look. It has a small-town feel to it.”

The response to the potential sale of the diner drew similar responses of sorrow on Facebook, largely in threads in the “Discussing Fitchburg Now” and “Fitchburg History” groups. Many users posted fond memories of the restaurant.

In recent years, Fitchburg has applied to make Moran Square a historic district, with the diner one of the key features in state and federal applications.

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