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Side Dishes: Libby's Blue Line Diner closes after 22 years


Published November 1, 2011 at 3:45 p.m.

Libby's Blue Line Diner
  • Libby's Blue Line Diner

The lunch car that would house Libby’s Blue Line Diner spent decades meandering through three Massachusetts towns until, in 1989, it landed on a hilltop spot above Route 7 in Colchester. There it became a local retro favorite.

This past Monday, the grill at Libby’s went cold after 22 years.

Karen Griffin, the diner’s co-owner, says she decided to end Libby’s lease to make space for something new. “The building has been sold to some people who would like to do their own thing,” says Griffin, though she won’t elaborate on the business that will follow on Libby’s heels.

Neither will a representative of the diner’s property-management company, though she says details may be available in a few weeks, once the arrangement has firmed up.

The vintage car with its red-and-blue stools was one of the last built by the Worcester Lunch Car Company, which for 50 years churned out dining cars that still pepper New England. Each has its own serial number — Libby’s is No. 838 — and a handful still operates in Vermont, including the Arcadia Diner in South Burlington and the Chelsea Royal Diner in Brattleboro.

Griffin says she is uncertain of her next steps. “I’m not sure what we’re going to do in the future. We’re just focusing on the end here,” she says. Eighteen people worked at Libby’s at the time of its closure.