BY TOM DALTON
---- — SALEM — They’re firing up the grill at the Salem Diner.
Salem State University announced this week that it plans to reopen the historic diner on Loring Avenue, which closed after the college acquired the property in late summer.
“Hopefully, it will open sometime in early January,” said Karen Cady, a university spokeswoman.
Cady said the college expects to serve breakfast and lunch at the diner, which is directly across from its central campus. In time, she said, they plan to open at night for students looking for a hamburger or a snack during a study break.
“It’s a classic college late-night hangout,” she said.
The diner will be operated by Chartwells, which has the food service contract at Salem State. It will be open to the public.
The small diner was manufactured in 1941 by Sterling Diners of Merrimac and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, according to the college.
It gained fame in recent years as the favorite breakfast spot of Red Sox legend Johnny Pesky. The diner even dedicated its own “Pesky Pole.”
After buying the property, the college tried to find a diner operator but was unsuccessful.
News of the reopening was announced Tuesday night at a meeting of the Salem State University Neighborhood Advisory Committee.
Tom Dalton can be reached at email@example.com.