Once-popular restaurants, now closed and forgotten
The Cocke ‘n Kettle in Uxbridge, closed since 2008.
By ROD LEE
Every so often, as has again been the case in recent days, the subject of all the restaurants in the Blackstone Valley that have been lost to time comes up.
Several of these, including the Klondike Inn on Providence Road in South Grafton, have been shuttered and for all intents and purposes abandoned for years.
The Klondike Inn in South Grafton, closed for more than two decades.
Not until the topic of the disappearance of these once-popular dining establishments is addressed in conversation does the full picture of their unfortunate fate come into clearer focus.
Sammy’s Restaurante in Northbridge, closed since around 2015.
There is the Klondike, there is Sammy’s (formerly Riverside and before that the Bungalow) in Northbridge, along with Jube’s in Whitinsville, the Blue Jay in Sutton and of course the Cocke ’n Kettle in Uxbridge which is the one whose status is most intriguing.
With the exception of Jube’s in the Whitinsville Plaza at Plummer’s Corner, which only of late shut its doors, and the Blue Jay, which was ravaged by fire and subsequently became the site of the new Sutton Police Department building, all are showing telltale signs of neglect and ruin.
In August of 2020, in a post on Facebook, Cliff Valarose, a member of the Blackstone Valley Reminiscent Society, asked for recollections of the Klondike, which he said had been closed for more than twenty years.
“Tom Remillard cooked there for years,” came one response.
From Janneke A. Schotanus came the observation that she had looked into buying and renovating the property “as a massage and wellness center” with “a yoga barn.”
Susan Boutiette Ellbeg, a neighbor of the former Klondike, noted that the property is owned by the Cheng Du family of Westborough and that the liquor license is still active. But nothing has happened with it and the grounds are overgrown and the building is in disrepair.
The Klondike was famous for its fish ’n chips, prime rib and banana cream pie—among other fare.
Nick and Marge Sampson and the Sampson family owned and operated the Cocke ‘n Kettle until its closure in 2008. It was subsequently purchased by Odisefs “Tom” Tsimogiannis of Harry’s Pizza in Whitinsville for $781,000 in 2014.
The Cocke ’n Kettle was renowned for both its atmosphere with dark woods and studded leather chairs and its menu, which included corn fritters (popovers) that people still talk about, French onion soup and much more.
It was also a frequent destination for birthdays, anniversaries and weddings; and meetings of the Blackstone Valley Chamber of Commerce.
Contacted a few days ago and asked if anything was developing with the Cocke ’n Kettle, Mr. Tsimogiannis said “no news is good news.” He then added “I am a very private person and don’t want to talk about it.”
What’s interesting is that in the case of the Klondike, Sammy’s and the Cocke ‘n Kettle there is not even any evidence that the properties are being marketed.
Signs posted at the Cocke ‘n Kettle declare it is private property and say “no trespassing.”
Sammy’s when it was the Riverside, before Sultan Salahuddin bought it, was owned by brothers Al and Larry Vinca, who were friendly and who made improvements to the old Bungalow; among these was a new bar.
The Riverside was open for lunch and dinner. Sammy’s had established a good reputation for pizza, pasta and seafood.
All five of these establishments are fondly remembered and curiosity remains about what will become of them.
Contact Rod Lee at [email protected] or 774-232-2999.