Silver Top Diner likely to end up in Cumberland

Silver Top Diner likely to end up in Cumberland

Katie Cerrone was on hand to see the Silver Top moved into its temporary location in Cranston last Thursday. The old diner will be restored over the next year and then moved to either Cumberland or Pawtucket. (Breeze photo by Ethan Shorey)
But Pawtucket is also still on the table

PAWTUCKET – The owner of Pawtucket’s historic Silver Top Diner says she’s narrowed her search for its final destination down to two communities, Cumberland and Pawtucket.

Katie Cerrone, an entrepreneur and daughter of car dealer Al Cerrone, told The Breeze that Cumberland is the front-runner to get the old eatery.

Cumberland Mayor William Murray and Pawtucket Mayor Donald Grebien are both lobbying Cerrone to open her planned diner in their communities.

“They both want us there,” said Cerrone, who also owns KC’s Classic Burger Bar in North Attleboro, Mass.

Cerrone purchased the diner for $30,500 at auction last October. She laughed as she admitted to The Breeze that she’s experiencing a bit of buyer’s remorse. Potential buyers were told they would be buying “a little piece of history,” she said, but the actual work of restoring that history is much more difficult than the initial purchase.

Just moving the diner from Pawtucket to a temporary location in Cranston last week cost her some $11,000, she said. She estimates she’ll spend another $200,000 to restore it behind the Honeywell building in Cranston over the next year and will also have to pay for a piece of property in either Cumberland or Pawtucket.

The Silver Top has no kitchen, meaning the ideal location will have an existing restaurant or other facilities already on premises to link up with, she said.

Mayor Murray says he’s determined to see this restored diner in Cumberland.

Not only is he a fan of owner Katie Cerrone’s KC’s Classic Burger Bar in North Attleboro – “I’m a hamburger lover,” Murray says – but his friendship with the Cerrone family goes back years. The Cerrones are former Cumberland residents, and Katie now lives in Lincoln.

Murray said he and Cerrone family members have already met to discuss it. “I would love to find it a home in Cumberland,” he said.

Cerrone’s suggestion that Pawtucket is still in the running to get the Silver Top prompts Murray to scoff, “(Mayor Donald) Grebien’s out of the picture. They don’t want to go to Pawtucket.”

Murray noted that Cumberland has a liquor license available for restaurants that bring unique eateries like this to town.

Grebien told The Breeze he is meeting regularly with Cerrone and building a relationship with her.

“There are many exciting things happening in Pawtucket,” he said. “We would love to welcome another iconic business to the city.”

For insurance purposes, Pawtucket officials wanted the old diner taken off the Middle Street land where it was housed by the end of 2016, but Cerrone was a few days late getting it moved to Cranston for planned rehabilitation. It was slowly taken by flatbed truck last Wednesday from its Pawtucket location to its new spot in Cranston, a garage Cerrone secured free of charge.

Cerrone said she still isn’t entirely sure what kind of restaurant she will open once the diner is refurbished, but said she’s planning to serve both breakfast and lunch.

Also still up in the air is whether Cerrone will be able to use the Silver Top name, as she’s unsure of the previous owner’s rights to the name. As a result, both KC’s Silver Top Diner or KC’s Classic Burger Bar are on the table as options.

Former Silver Top owner Patricia Brown, in a note to media members last week, said she still holds the rights to the Silver Top name, as only the dining car was transferred to Cerrone in the purchase.

A flatbed truck from Demers Brothers carries the Silver Top Diner away from its Middle Street location in Pawtucket last Wednesday.