An era ends as Miss Adams diner goes up for sale
ADAMS -- Park Street's famous boxcar -- Worcester Lunch Car #82 -- is in the process of changing hands again, and could end up a pizza shop this time.
Miss Adams Diner, voted best diner in the Berkshires this year, will serve its final batch of signature outsized breakfasts on Aug. 15.
"It's probably never going to be Miss Adams Diner again," operator Philomene Belair said of the business' name, which dates back 70-plus years.
Belair said she and her husband Ric -- tenants inside the 1949 boxcar since 2010 -- had wanted to keep up the diner.
They were given first crack when the Realtor put the building on the market back in February, but Belair said the asking price was out of range. Adams Community Bank would not provide them with a loan.
That price was put at $155,000 by Jennifer Segala of Steepleview Realty, the owner, in an interview Wednesday.
Segala called the structure, at 53 Park St., a "turn-key restaurant" and said more than 10 parties -- some local and others from Boston -- have expressed interest.
One of these parties -- Izzy's Pizza Deli, currently located at 85 Commercial St. -- has reportedly made an offer, but "nothing's definite," Segala said, except one thing.
"We're 100 percent selling this building," Segala said.
What's still needed, she added, is a "grand business plan," and "if A to Z happens, yes, they could take ownership."
Steepleview will continue taking inquiries, however, and Segala said another "strong candidate" has a spot in line behind Izzy's if a deal isn't reached.
For their part, the Belairs took pride in their tenure running one of the few remaining Worcester Lunch Cars.
They felt they'd succeeded in bringing back the spirit of the diner Joseph Wilusz established in 1938.
Pictures of the Wiluszs and former chef Herman Washington adorn the walls of the Belairs' diner and a timeline of Miss Adams' history spans the boxcar's ceiling -- along with scores of old records.
The Belairs even met and befriended Joe Wilusz Jr. and his wife this year.
"They were in town that day because they'd bought a stone for where Herman's buried in Williamstown," Belair said. "One thing led to another and we ended up becoming good friends."
Belair said Wilusz took the news that the business was closing "like a death in the family."
She also recalled good times had inside the lunch car. Roughly 2,000 signatures fill their guest book, people from all but six states and countries around the world.
The diner was featured in Larry Cultrera's 2011 book "Classic Diners of Massachusetts." A $500 annual scholarship the family sponsors -- the Beryl Belair Memorial Scholarship -- will continue, Belair said.
On Aug. 3 and 4, the diner is inviting people to try to finish the grandaddy-size "Blitz" -- a home fry, egg, French toast, cheese, hollandaise sauce and four-meat monstrosity.
Diner hours will remain 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. every day until Aug. 10, when they'll begin closing at 1 p.m.
"Even though things turned out the way they did, we do wish the new owners the best of luck," Belair said. "But it's not my fault if members of my crew come in here and give them a hard time on orders."
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