Unsung Eats: The Corner Lunch, Adams — 40 years of home cooking to please the palate…and the wallet.


With Unsung Eats there is only one thing better than a great meal at a good value, and that is if it is served with a side dish of a good old fashioned success story.

Today Unsung Eats finds itself in the historic town of Adams at a very cool little place called the Corner Lunch. The Corner Lunch is located at 50 Summer Street at the intersection of Spring Street.

Once inside, I felt as though I had stepped back in time. The original menu board, the round floor mounted stools at the counter, the nicely dressed tables with a flower vase placed next to the napkin dispensers all spoke to me with their old school charm and flavor.

A perky, well-maintained exterior beckons hungry neighbors and workers in for familiar entrées to eat in or take out, and maybe a cold beer (the beer stays there, though—this ain’t Pennsylvania); photo by James Kennedy.

A very nice woman named Pat came over to my table to take my drink order and I commented to her how it looked like time had stopped in here years ago. She informed me that the owners, Dick and Joan Carrigan, had opened up the Corner Lunch in 1979, and were fast approaching their 40 year anniversary in business, motioning to me with her hand towards them as they worked behind the counter.

I chose the Wednesday lunch special of Turkey Dinner, and soon enough my meal was in front of me. I remarked to my server, Pat, how quickly my nice hot meal came out and she informed me that a lot of contractors, and the like, stop in for a quick home cooked meal as well as having it as take out, which was proven by a man at the counter picking up two turkey dinners to go.

The King of the Diner — turkey with sides of green beans, mashed, and cran — has kept frugal Americans hale and hearty for generations; photo by James Kennedy.

While I was eating my lunch, it was clear to see the neighborly atmosphere of this place as it seemed like everyone knew everyone else’s names as they came and went with a smile.

My turkey dinner was classic comfort food, with two thick slices of turkey breast, mashed potatoes, green beans, cranberry sauce, and a roll with butter. A generous portion of delicious hot gravy was ladled over all.  With the sounds of “The Price is Right” TV show on in the background and a comforting hot homemade meal in front of me, it felt as though I was at home.

After finishing my meal, I got up and went over to talk to the owners to congratulate them on 40 years in business. I asked them both what their background was prior to opening the Corner Lunch, and Joan told me that she was a hairdresser and Dick was in finance. Dick told me that at the time they had no experience in restaurants but that they wanted to be their own boss.

By following the simple recipe combining equal parts service, quality, and value, Dick and Joan Carrigan have succeeded in one of the toughest businesses for more than a generation; photo by James Kennedy

It’s not every business that can last for forty years, much less a restaurant, so you know that they’re doing everything right. To me, this is truly an American success story both from their hard work and independence to the service they have provided their community for the last 40 years.

In addition to having a great home cooked dinner today for the total sum of $8.00, I had the opportunity to meet some very fine people who had a vision and went for it so many years ago. Their success stands as testament that good people putting out good food for very reasonable prices is the key to longevity.

The Corner Lunch is open for breakfast and lunch six days a week and is closed on Mondays. If you find yourself down there give Dick or Joan a smile and a wave, and congratulate them on 40 years of the American dream.

Generous helpings of house-cooked, healthy standards for under ten bones? Doesn’t get much better than the Corner Lunch, now does it? Photo by James Kennedy.

James Kennedy

James Kennedy is a local artist and former businessman. He enjoys fine art, cooking and music. His own artworks are on view and available for purchase at his website.

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