Norm's Diner in Groton is for sale but will remain open, owner says

Groton — The owner of Norm’s Diner in Groton City is selling the business, but the diner will remain open, owner John Espada said.

“It’s a landmark. I would never close it,” he said. “It’s open and it’ll continue as a staple in Groton.”

Espada advertised the diner for sale last week and said he’s received many inquires about it. The diner employs nine people, and Espada said he's told prospective buyers he’d like to keep his employees working. He said he would remain the landlord, and lease the business to a new owner.

The diner at 171 Bridge St. serves patrons who have eaten there for decades and has been open since the early 1950s. The trailer-shaped diner has the swivel stools and booth seats diners are known for, along with a jukebox with music by John Mellencamp and Creedence Clearwater Revival.

The menu, on laminated paper, offers traditional diner fare like hamburgers, milkshakes and biscuits with sausage gravy. In 2012, former U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman visited the diner as part of a farewell tour of local diners to say goodbye and thank local constituents.

Zach Spears, 22, paid for breakfast Monday while a waitress nearby served plates of eggs, home fries and crispy bacon. Most of the booths were filled.

"The style is definitely different," said Spears, a regular at the diner. "It's one of a kind. Nothing else really compares."

Espada, who lives in Groton, invested in a remodeling project at Norm’s about four years ago, installing new Formica counters and tabletops, replacing the upholstery with the current sea-foam colored booths and cleaning the stainless steel and ceiling.

He said he’s selling the diner so he may pursue other interests. The diner was originally owned by Norm and Annie Brochu. Inquiries about the business may be sent to restaurantsforsalenow@gmail.com.

d.straszheim@theday.com

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