On The Silly Side by Jimmy Del Ponte
(The opinions and views expressed in the commentaries of The Somerville News belong solely to the authors of those commentaries and do not reflect the views or opinions of The Somerville News, its staff or publishers.)
Cabot Farms sits on Broadway just before the block of stores that includes an Asian restaurant, a caterer’s headquarters, and the convenience store and Dunkin Donuts.
Outside is the rusty skeletal remains of what was once a colorful awning and entrance way. The facade of the building boasts of an era gone by, with colors very faded and fixtures in advanced decay. It sits beneath what looks like at least six rental units, as the building is huge. In real estate terms it is known as a gold mine. The family that has owned it for decades still owns it as far as I know. A couple of years ago when I spoke to the owner’s son, (a well known local musician back in the 70’s who is around my age), they still owned it.
Cabot Farms used to be a hopping function hall, and a pretty swank one at that. It was where they held Rotary Club meetings, Boy Scout “communion breakfasts” and no doubt , a few chamber of commerce gatherings. I pass by it every day and wonder why something hasn’t been done with the building. Actually, it was briefly re-opened years ago as a smoke free club called “On Broadway.” I remember asking about it when I worked as a real estate agent for Jackie Veri. I believe there were several issues. One was that there was no parking. The other may have been the family’s unwillingness to part with the huge property.
I’m thinking it would be a great spot for Tufts students and the cool people that flock to Davis Square to congregate. In this age of green awareness, folks could take the T, walk, bike or scooter to the place. But what would the theme be? If It were my place it would feature 1960s and 70s music. It may be difficult to bands playing music in a residential area, so a DJ may have to spin. I accept the job thank you!
It could also be a country western theme club like Johnny D’s used to be. I wonder if we could get John Penny and John Lincoln Wright to play! I will dig out my cowboy hat and give a big old “yee ha” to that !
Another place that used to be a hot spot in the city was the back room of the Rose Bud Diner known as The Surrey Room. I wore platform shoes and played in a live disco band there back in the day. The Stephen James Room was behind the Star Market off Elm Street and has also gone bye- bye.
And who can forget the lovely dungeon called The Jumbo Lounge in Teele Square? Every Villen has a Jumbo story. While we are on the subject of joints that are history, who can forget Kay and Chips late night breakfast eatery outside of Davis Square? The eggshells weren’t the only things that got broken in there. If you wanted late night entertainment, all you had to do was look around at the clientele at Kay and Chips. I was one of the afterhours crowd acting up there quite often. Studleys, The Embassy Lounge, The Brass Lantern, Khoury’s and Jaspers are all gone. When it was “hotel, motel time” the popular place to hit for a late last call was The Pointer Post.
I walk by the old Cabot Farms and I think of the possibilities. Maybe we could just have a nice place for us old Somerville kids to go and sit and sip coffee and reminisce about the good old days. I remember being an eight year old cub scout in that building enjoying a scrambled eggs and bacon breakfast. Maybe it could re-open as “Villen-Haven.” Maybe not. Any backers? Call me. I would like to get a hold of some of the furniture and fixtures that are gathering dust inside Cabot Farms. I bet there are a few choice collectibles in there.
While we are on the subject of great places gone by, Dapper Dan’s, restaurant and night spot, formerly of The Assembly Square Mall, is throwing a reunion. It will be held on Saturday night, October 16, at Night Moves in the Holiday Inn on Washington Street in Somerville. The ever expanding guest list is a who’s who of, former Dapper staff, entertainers, dignitaries and all around fun people. Admission is free and the fun starts at 7 p.m.