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Rosebud Diner to Get New Owner, Updated Look and Food

Restauranteur Marty Bloom, who founded Vinny Testa's, plans revamp the restaurant into something more contemporary while leaving the historic diner's exterior untouched.

Marty Bloom, a local restaurateur who founded Vinny Testa's and owns Mission Oak Grill in Newburyport, is close to cementing a deal to purchase Davis Square's Rosebud Diner, according to Bloom, who attended a Somerville Licensing Commission meeting Wednesday night.

Bloom said the completed sale would likely become final sometime in late March or early April. He was at the Licensing Commission meeting to request the transfer of Rosebud's alcohol, victualer and entertainment licenses to his company, a request the commission approved.

Bloom said he plans to leave the exterior of the diner untouched. "It's iconic," he told the commission, saying, "I have talked to the historic commission in depth" about the local landmark.

However, he plans to renovate the interior of the diner and the restaurant space behind the diner. He also plans to revamp the menu, he said.

"We're going to be doing a big upgrade on it," he told the commission, saying he wants to merge the diner and the restaurant area into one space, change the floor plan and update the kitchen and bathrooms. He'll probably put in a new bar and stage, he said.

As for the menu, Bloom said he plans to serve food that's "a little newer" and "contemporary."

"Updating the classics," he called it.

He cautioned that "this all could change" as plans for the diner evolve into something more definitive. Initially the restaurant would just see "minor renovations," he said.

Rosebud would likely close for some time while renovations take place, Bloom said.

News of the sale comes about six months after reports surfaced that something was going on with the diner. In June, Somerville Scout had a conversation with Bill Nichols, son of Rosebud's owner, Gally Nichols. The younger Nichols told the magazine his father was planning to close the diner. Gally Nichols later said the story was a rumor.

Ron Newman January 28, 2013 at 05:31 PM
Why is it revolting? (For some reason, the moderator didn't approve this comment last time)
Alt Drumz February 01, 2013 at 04:23 PM
Sad, another gentrification of Davis Sq. Good Job.
marianne February 01, 2013 at 06:32 PM
This was inevitable once the city allowed that monstrosity to dwarf the Rosebud. If they dismantle the interior they might as well dismantle the exterior as well. It will no longer be historically significant as a true diner (dining car).
Ron Newman February 01, 2013 at 06:52 PM
By state law, the city of Somerville can protect only the exterior of a building, not the interior.
Elizabeth Martel May 02, 2013 at 01:15 PM
Gentrification is not always a dirty word.

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