ELLINGTON - The town of Ellington saw a vacancy of almost two years without a diner - a place where the community came to socialize over coffee.
Now, the town is revitalized with new owners, Eileen and Doug Seekings of Ellington, at the helm of the diner located on the four corners at 743 Main St.
Dave and Bev's Diner opened to the public June 30. The diner was purchased by the couple during April 2013, and from there the gutting began. Eileen said that she always wanted to run a diner. That opportunity presented itself at the Ellington intersection where a vacant diner stood. The Seekings got a hold of the previous owners to take a look.
Eileen and Doug Seekings of Ellington are set for a grand opening of the pizza shop at Dave and Bev’s Diner in Ellington on Sept. 5-6.
P-J photo by Jimmy McCarthy
"We moved over here and we do a lot in Randolph," Eileen said. "We always go through here and we saw it empty. It's always been an icon for years. Ellington needed their diner back open."
She noted that the building was in rough shape due to the two-year vacancy. The Seekings did all the work themselves with help from family and friends. The diner was fully refurbished and renovated with new floors and freshly painted walls.
The diner is named in memory of Eileen's parents Dave and Bev. She lost her parents when she was young. The diner was a way for Eileen to bring their memory alive to the people coming in for some homemade food. Bev, a farm girl from the West, and Dave, a farm boy from the East, met on a blind date. Eileen said that their love was always strong.
On the wall in the diner is a picture of Bev that Dave drew. The diner also has a milk can that tells a story about the parents. From vases of her mom's collection to Dave's joke of the day, the diner is filled with the couple's personality. Upon entering the diner, people get a glimpse of the counter with milk can seats known as milk can alley.
"They were really neat people and they had a special love," Eileen said. "They wanted to share that with the community."
Eileen noted that the people have enjoyed their visit due in part to the great service and food. For a small town like Ellington, the diner is the core, Eileen said. Eileen's slogan is "old favorites with a new twist." The diner serves burgers and hot dogs for lunch, and French toast and waffles for breakfast. The waffles, however, are made slightly different.
"It's basically a pizza waffle," Eileen said. "Many people seem to enjoy it. I also make the turkey gobbler, which is a stuffing waffle."
The biggest seller that the Seekings have seen is the 18 Wheeler. The entree is a bacon cheeseburger that sits on top of homestyle french fries. Topping off the burger and fries is a drizzling of barbecue sauce. She also makes homemade pies which are starting to fly off the shelf. One person told Eileen that the food is the closest thing to homemade food that she's had in a long time.
In its first two months of operation, several customers have left positive feedback regarding the food and the atmosphere inside.
However, a new service is coming to the diner. The Seekings are almost set to open a pizza shop where people can order out. They just purchased a pizza oven and already have a counter and register installed. The pizza shop will launch Sept. 5-6 during a grand opening. The shop will be open Wednesday through Saturday evenings.
"We're going to have signs and balloons and kick off our pizza out back for pickup."
The diner served more than 100 people from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. opening day. Eileen and the crew have been very busy over the past few days with traffic passing through town due to bridge construction happening down the road.
"Ellington is a great town," Eileen said. "Everyone is friendly and welcoming to people coming in from out of town."
The diner is open Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Saturday through Sunday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
For more information on the diner, visit Dave and Bev's Diner Facebook or call 287-2050.