New Bedford Developer Wants to Bring Angelo’s Orchid Diner Back to Life
When Dave Vermette was a little kid, his dad would bring him to Angelo's Orchid Diner near the Buttonwood Park section of New Bedford.
"My dad loved the beef stew there, and I'd order a grilled cheese to dip into my tomato soup," he said.
It was comfort food for the father-and-son duo. Something about it was wholesome.
"I drive by the diner now and it's just too bad that it's just sitting there doing nothing."
Vermette wants to change that.
The developer is making an offer to the owners to buy the diner in the hopes of either fixing it up and selling or fixing it up and leasing. It also isn't the first diner offer he's made this month.
"I don't know how to run a restaurant," Vermette said. "I can barely cook breakfast at home, but I'm hoping this could be a great opportunity for the right type of person."
Angelo's Orchid Diner was put up for sale nearly four years ago. After owning the diner for more than three decades, owners Geraldine and Angelo Carvalho were both ready to hang up the spatula. They had worked into their 70s and they were tired.
Angelo's Orchid Diner later closed after being in business since 1945.
The diner sat dormant for years.
Dave Vermette has a vision to bring the Orchid Diner back to life, its sign and empty booths a reminder of a bygone era.
Vermette's quest to revive Angelo's is a testament to the power of nostalgia and the New Bedford community. His willingness to invest in a business he knows nothing about and his insistence on preserving the diner's legacy show just how much the diner means to him and others in the area.
"My goal here is not to make money," Vermette said. "It's to put some money out and get somebody to buy it or lease it. I'll put the money up and the new operator can buy it from me over time. Take 10 years to pay me back, I don't care. The owner can build a nice little business, and I can go back and have breakfast at the diner."
Vermette said one perk he'll insist on with the Orchid Diner deal is "breakfast for life." Kidding/not kidding.
20 SouthCoast Massachusetts and Rhode Island Dishes That Deserve to Be Featured on the Food Network
LOOK: Food history from the year you were born