Quentin Sanford Jr. and his family had a dream — a dream of building a large, old-style diner on their family's 71 acres off Route 88 in Westport, Massachusetts, adjacent to where their family-run Handy Hill Creamery has been enjoyed by beach-goers for nearly half a century.
"We thought it would be a wonderful way to go year-round with the diner," said Sanford.
The Sanfords had purchased Eddie's Diner out of Quincy in the 90s after it had a grease fire.
In-depth news coverage of the Greater Boston Area.
"We found out there was another diner in Dover, New Jersey, which was the same as Eddie's," said Sanford. "And we felt that the two of them could be combined into one large diner."
But after drawing up plans and sinking hundreds of thousands of dollars into it, they weren't able to move forward.
"The town would not allow us to share the well," said Sanford. "We held onto them over the years, hoping that something would change."
Instead, the once shiny and bustling diners sat on their property, the brush growing up around them, as their luster dulled for the past two decades.
"That's too bad because they could have been very attractive, and I think it would have been a big draw," said Kit Barnum of Westport.
"And now it's just turning into a junkyard," added Russell Beede of Westport.
So the Sanford's got an idea to give the antique diners away — for free — to anyone who can transport them off the property.
"We really hope that somebody can either use one or both," said Sanford. "Just so they don't get scrapped, because they're a dying breed around here."
The family has a bit of a deadline — the town has given 30 days to have the diners removed — but Sanford says he believes the town will work with them if they have someone planning to pick them up.