Salem, a manufacturing city, had up to 17 diners in the heyday of diners, the 1940's and 50's. A Salem man played a small role in diner history. Benjamin Barker, around the turn of the century operated a lunch cart at the corner of Washington and Essex Street, and was the "forerunner of the modern diner." according to Gary Thomas of the American Diner Museum in Providence, R.I.
The Salem Diner: (326 Canal St.) A rare Sterling Streamliner with 50 seats. Made by the J.B. Judkins Co. of Merrimac in 1941. Placed on the list of National Register of Historic Places in 1999. (with 2 other nearby diners, the Agawam Diner in Rowley and the Capitol Diner in Lynn.) The diner was opened in 1941 by Ted Doherty who sold it to brothers James and William Kallas in 1946. In 1982, John Kallas brought in part-owner Ted Tsoutsouras. In 1989, Kallas sold his part to Ted, who then ran it with his son Peter until Ted's retirement. In 2008, George and Zoe Elefteriadis of Belmont took over the diner.
Pilgrim Diner (formerly Boyle's Elm Tree Diner)(Boston St.) A Worcester diner built in 1938, a 14 stool restaurant.
Past diners: Caron's Diner on 34 Bridge St., The Deluxe Diner (corner of North and Bridge), North Shore Diner on New Derby St., Sam's Diner on 82 Lafayette St., Mother's Lunch on Derby St., DeVoe's Diner at 63 Congress St., North Shore Diner on Front St., Terry's Diner on Highland Ave., French's Diner at 17 New Derby St., Hawthorne Diner on 9 Congress St., Pequot Diner on Congress St., Holt's Diner on Washington St. (moved to Bridgewater in 1956 when they installed the railroad tunnel in Riley Plaza.)
- Vertical File in Salem Collection - Diners, Salem
- "All their eggs in one basket; for 40 years, Salem Diner has had one specialty" Salem Evening News, Aug. 12, 1991. p.7
- "Retrospective features city diners" Salem Evening News, Nov. 12, 1997
- New England Roadside delights by Will Anderson.
- "Serving up Americana; 3 area diners are named national historic places." Boston Globe, North Weekly, Nov. 7, 1999. p. N1
- "Owner selling diner wants restaurant to stay in city" Salem Evening News, Feb. 14, 2000. p. A3
- "Sox icon Pesky steps up to plate for local diner" Salem News, Jan. 10, 2008. p.A1
- Diners of the North Shore by Gary Thomas. p. 35,54,57.
- Classic Diners of Massachusetts by Larry Cultrera, p. 30,53,148
- Salem Diner U Dine for Less Website