Dem’s Diner reopens
Two years ago, Mayor Joseph Polisena and Johnston Democratic Town Committee Chairman Richard DelFino Jr. needed a private place to talk strategy for an upcoming election.
So the two picked up a couple of sandwiches and soft drinks and met in a vacant space at 1351 Hartford Ave. That location would later become the town committee’s headquarters.
Then one day, Polisena and DelFino decided to hold a small luncheon. It didn’t take long for the spot to become a popular Wednesday lunch stop, drawing the likes of U.S. Sens. Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and U.S. Reps. Jim Langevin and David Cicilline.
It has since become known as “Dem’s Diner,” with guests included what DelFino described as a “who’s who in the Rhode Island Democratic Party and beyond.” It reopened for the campaign season last Thursday in a space at 1500 Place, with House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello, Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea, a number of state lawmakers, Cumberland Mayor William Murray, and representatives of Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin’s office among those on hand.
(Text and photos by Pete Fontaine)