The former site of Eggies diner in Plaistow has a new name and new owners, who hope to revitalize the local landmark. Eggies has moved to a new location in Atkinson.
John Woods, originally from Rye, has renamed it Diner 317, taking the number from an old metal plaque on the wall of the classic diner.
Woods is a chef and just moved back to New Hampshire from Boulder, Colo.
"I had a restaurant in Colorado, but I sold it to come back here," Woods said.
He said his two good friends from Sanborn Regional High School in Kingston, Justin Behling and cousin Chris Woods, asked him if he wanted to go into business together.
"They were looking into building a restaurant, and I had been in the business for 20 years," Woods said. "We've known each other forever and we all trust each other. Chris is running construction, Justin and myself are operating the restaurant."
Cook has already written the menu. Prices will range from free for kids under age 10 to $12.50 for all-you-can-eat.
"We're going to continue to do diner food and comfort food, serving breakfast all day," Woods said.
The menu includes dishes like Backwoods Benedict: turkey, bacon, two poached eggs with chip sausage gravy over buttermilk biscuits, and the Breakfast Bomb Burrito: two scrambled eggs, cheddar cheese, hash browns and choice of ham, bacon or sausage wrapped in a large flour tortilla smothered with green chili. The menu also will feature a regular assortment of french toast, waffles, pancakes, burgers and sandwiches.
Woods and his partners are leasing the diner from the owners, but are doing significant construction to improve the building and parking lot.
"We are redoing a lot," Woods said. "We're doing mainly cosmetic changes in the front, keeping it as original as possible. We're going to fix the parking lot also, pave over the potholes and get everything up to code."
He said he hopes construction will be completed in the next few weeks. Plans call for opening the diner Nov. 1. The diner will open at 5:30 a.m. every day.
Woods said he is proud of the diner's long history, including the story at the bottom of the new menus.
"This diner was built in 1951 in New Jersey by the Mountain View Diner Company," Woods said. "It moved from Jersey to North Reading and was there until 1961. Then it was brought up here."
The Pentalerios family owned the diner, calling it Pents, then Hope's Diner, before leasing it Eggies.
"We're only the third people to (run) it since 1951," Woods said. "It's virtually a landmark."
The new diner will be a green operation.
"We'll be recycling, composting and selling our fry oil for biofuel," he said. "We're also thinking about doing farm to table in the spring, maybe planting a box garden in the field out back. We have so much space. It feels good to be respecting the environment and cooking fresh, delicious foods. It's a win-win."
Woods said he hopes people will try the food and support a local family business.
"My cousins and other family are volunteering, doing construction for free," he said. "Everyone working here is family."
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