“There is nothin’ finer than a Worcester Diner” was the slogan of the Worcester Lunch Car Company (WLCC), which specialized in small, handcrafted diners with porcelain exteriors and hardwood interiors.
Worcester diners were often adorned with marble countertops, hardwood booths, and stainless steel panels shaped into starburst patterns and were well-known for their level of craftsmanship. Today you would be hard-pressed to find a finer example than the 1949 Miss Portland Diner – WLCC No. 818.
Miss Portland was originally located on Forest Avenue and was moved from there in 1964 – to make room for the new Federal Building – to 49 Marginal Way where she served breakfast and lunch to a mostly local crowd.
Known for her special ambiance, Miss Portland made a cameo appearance in Mel Gibson’s movie Man without a Face in August 1993. In 2004 the City of Portland accepted the diner car as a donation to ensure her proper restoration.
Miss Portland was purchased in 2007 by Tom Manning, a Portland native who left Maine over 35 years ago for a career in publishing in New York City and who came back to his hometown to preserve this piece of local history. Tom worked with the City’s historic preservation department to ensure that his vision of a revived Miss Portland met with their approval and her doors opened to welcome the residents and visitors of Bayside in October 2008.