NORWICH, Conn. (WPRI) — A beloved New Bedford diner is getting a new home.
New York business owner Evan Blum purchased the former Shawmut Diner for $20,000, when the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office put it up for auction back in July.
The diner’s original owners had donated it to the county after the restaurant closed in 2014, hoping it could be used to train inmates in food service, but Bristol County Sheriff Paul Heroux said the department wasn’t able to acquire the federal funding needed to run the program.
Blum owns The Demolition Depot, a Manhattan-based business that, according to its website, sells vintage architectural ornaments salvaged from properties that are scheduled for demolition or major renovations.
He told 12 News that he plans to place the Shawmut Diner in the parking lot of his Norwich, Conn., warehouse, which itself is an old cardboard box factory that is being repurposed to house his “mammoth-sized” collection of architectural artifacts.
Preservation Connecticut lists Blum as the owner of 385 and 387R North Main Street in Norwich’s Greeneville Historic District, a 12-building complex that housed the Atlantic Carton Company from 1919 until it closed in 2016.
The Shawmut Diner still needs to be transported to Norwich from the Bristol County Correctional Center in Dartmouth and does not have any kitchen equipment or working bathrooms.
Blum said it will be at least six months before the diner is restored and fully operational, but added that he plans to keep the name and original purpose.
The one change Blum plans to make?
“Better cuisine,” he told 12 News.