Future Plans For the Diner

It has been a whirlwind year for the diner and Rockingham for Progress, also known as RFP. After purchasing the diner in June, 2023, and announcing plans for restoration of the diner, as well as adding ADA compliant bathrooms, additional seating, and kitchen, RFP embarked on the daunting legwork and fundraising to qualify the project for the grants necessary to make a Community Supported Enterprise model work. Much has been accomplished, with much more to do. Now it is time for a progress report on the Miss Bellows Falls Diner. We will talk with our guest, designer Raphael Rosner of Austin Design Cooperative, about the opportunities and challenges in getting the Miss Bellows Falls, who arrived in town in May, 1944, ready for her next eighty years of service.

Raphael, and the small creative team at Austin Design Cooperative bring a combined 150+ years of experience to the Miss Bellows Falls Diner project. Based in New England, the cooperative is known for their expertise in all things design, from tap rooms to bus shelters and everything in between. Raphael, who says he is always in search of a good eggs benedict, leads the three person team including Tom Chalmers and Bryan Louisell, in coordination with RFP, to set the stage for returning the diner to its former glory and beyond.

Raphael and the Miss Bellows Falls team will show the current plans and layout for the project, although RFP cautions that the design is, at this point, still conceptual in nature, and are meant to indicate basic building massing and flow, rather than the final finish and design.
Fundraising continues, and the MissBellowsFalls.com website is up and running, offering a variety of high-quality, locally-sourced premiums for donations at various levels, including mugs designed by artist Ezra Veith, pins by Amar&Riley, Diner soaps from Grace and Miss Mouse Soaps, and “Diner Boxes” of spice mixtures from Halladay’s Harvest Barn. As well, both, stool, and counter space “naming rights” are also available.

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