Bringing a jewel back to life

Delivery and Fulfillment

In order to unlock grant monies, vigorous fundraising on a local, grassroots, level must be demonstrated. Your purchase helps hugely. These are fundraising items; please view them in that spirit.
Because we are a volunteer organization, our fulfillment operation is scheduled to take place just one day per week. Please bear with us as we learn the ropes of merchandise fulfillment. If you are ordering locally, the Little Art Supply Store in Bellows Falls (3 Westminster St., Tues.-Thur. 10-5; Friday 10-6; Sat. 12-5 and Sun. 12-4) has generously offered to serve as our pick-up location. You will be notified when your items are ready for pickup there. Be sure to thank them and browse their wonderful supply of art and craft supplies. Shop local! If we are shipping, you will receive notification when your items ship. Items will be sent USPS Priority Mail.
Excited to see this gem of a diner is scheduled... — - Clay T
This diner is an American gem. — Barry Mackiewicz
Great little restaurant! — Casey Stankiewicz
One of the few remaining un-altered diner... — Thomas Dunbar
Walking into the Miss Bellows Falls diner... — Ray Casler
You can't get any more downtown then when... — Jim Pecora
Exactly what a DINER is supposed to be! — Mark Moland
The BF diner was the first place I went to... — Robert Ross

A great place to sit, eat, and talk with friends...

A Little History

The 14.5’ x 28’ barrel-roofed diner was constructed by the Worcester Lunch Car Company in Worcester, Massachusetts, in 1941 and given the serial number 771. Arriving by truck on May 14, 1944 after operating for a short while in Lowell as Frankie & Johnnie’s Diner, it was christened Miss Bellows Falls. It replaced an earlier, smaller diner at the same location. Vestibules were subsequently constructed at both ends, as well as a wood-framed kitchen and bathrooms. Through the efforts of then-owners Del and Joanne Bush, the Miss Bellows Falls was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.  Since arriving eighty years ago, the diner has operated faithfully and continually through a succession of owners, until shuttering at the beginning of the pandemic. Remarkably, the original interior and exterior are virtually intact, with a marble counter, a dozen stools, and five four-person oak booths for a total seating capacity of 32.  Renovations are scheduled to begin in 2024, with new, accessible seating, bathrooms and kitchen, as well as restoration of the historic diner car itself.

Zippy visits Bellows Falls

Zippy is a long-running American comic strip created by Bill Griffith. Zippy's most famous quotation, "Are we having fun yet?", appears in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations and has become part of the language. Bill Griffith has generously allowed us to use this Zippy strip from 2001 for fundraising purposes.
"I've stopped for lunch at the Miss Bellows Falls on my trips up to Montpelier to visit family any number of times over the years. I'm always amazed that it's in such great condition for an older diner. It has a wonderfully cozy feel, missing in some of the bigger diners and, of course, entirely missing from fast food franchises with their uncomfortable plastic chairs and chilly atmosphere. I advocate Slow Food over Fast Food! And Zippy loves to interact with patrons and staff. What I love most about diners is their intimacy: I've overheard some of the most interesting conversations at the well-worn counter at the Miss Bellows Falls! Every time I've visited, I've come away with great material for Zippy strips." -Bill Griffith, January, 2024


"Miss Bellows Falls Diner is a perfect jewel box of early-mid-20th-century design and efficiency. It has always been a welcome stop for everyday folks and today it is an icon of Bellows Falls. As a designer, I celebrate the joyful graphic elements of the building. The hand-painted signage, the checkered tile floor, and the simple oak booths are part of a comforting community space. I can't wait to share a meal here with my loved ones. And I'm eager to help ensure the little miss has a bright future for you and yours." - Lydia Daum


From the 2003 Preservation Trust of Vermont Annual Report cover story
Bonnie North confesses that the first tour of the iconic Miss Bellows Falls diner back in January was heartbreaking. The foundation was leaking, wood walls under the metal siding were rotten, and deferred maintenance had taken its toll. Even so, its tile floors, original oak booths, enameled walls, marble counters, and red stools were still there. Bonnie and other members of Rockingham for Progress came to the same conclusion: this isn’t going to last much longer unless we do something. Now. Built in 1941 by the Worcester Lunch Car Company in Massachusetts, the Miss Bellows Falls operated continuously until the Covid shutdown in the spring of 2020. For nearly 80 years it served as the diner for the working people of the community — the place where conversations among regulars made for strong social ties and connections. Its closure was disheartening for the whole town. When the owner decided he didn’t want to reopen, Rockingham for Progress stepped in and quietly raised the money to acquire it. One of the first things the group did was to bring in diner expert Richard J.S. Gutman, who concurred that there are few diners left with this level of integrity. With his guidance and partial support from the Paul A. Bruhn Fund, the nonprofit will restore the diner and build a new kitchen addition, with the goal of keeping the diner open and serving the community. “The amount of money and work is sobering,” says Bonnie. “But there is so much excitement. So much pride in this small community. This isn’t the Rosebud diner, this is the Miss Bellows Falls, our namesake. We have the incentive to do it, and to do it right.” A $100,000 PTV Paul Bruhn Historic Revitalization grant will help with the restoration.

The Miss Bellows Falls Diner

Renovations are scheduled to begin in 2024, with restoration of the diner car, and new construction of kitchen, ADA accessible bathrooms and additional seating. This is a project of Rockingham for Progress, Inc. (EIN 81-1204719), a volunteer 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. All gifts are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law.
Our address
Mailing: RFP, PO Box 653, Bellows Falls VT 05101 Miss BF can be seen at 90 Rockingham Street, Bellows Falls, VT 05101
Get directions
Open hours
Ask us in 2025...

Naming Rights

About Rockingham For Progress

Bonnie North President, Rockingham for Progress
"We are a volunteer non-profit group formed in 2016 'to promote progressive economic development, an appreciation of the historic value and natural beauty of our town, and the general enlivening of citizen participation in our local democratic processes.' In June, 2023, concerned about its deteriorating condition, we purchased Worcester Lunch Car #771, the Miss Bellows Falls Diner. Now we invite you to help us in our fundraising, as we work with governmental, creative, and organizational partners to restore and reopen the diner."                       .