On February 20th the ultimate in Norwood’s dining history will be reached. It is the date of the opening: of the new Lewis restaurant and grill nearing completion at the corner of Cottage and Central streets.’ It will mark the fifth milepost in Norwood’s gastronomic history.
It is but a stone’s throw from the new Lewis location to the site of the- first short-order dining spot in the middle of the town square. The forecaster of the Lewis venture, Charlie Hubbard’s “Day and Night Lunch,” commonly known as “the dog cart,” opened its doors in 1896.
Antecedents the Hubbard lunch were three, with the business of each closely linked to transportation advances. In 1700, Henry White’s Tavern, on the present Ink Mill site on the Old Roebuck post road (Pleasant Street), flourished on the trade of horseback travelers between Boston and Providence. In 1760, Aunt Lem Ellis’ Tavern, on today’s Washington street opposite Ellis avenue, served those brought by lightweight wheeled vehicles, chaises and carriages.
Dog Cart a Rendezvous
Paul Ellis’ South Dedham Tavern in the center of today’s square, served turnpike coaches and the freight wagon business in 1806. It was the trolley car and bicycle trade that prompted Charlie Hubbard’s venture at after-dark dining. Automobiles and movies are the backdrop for Mr. Lewis’ answer to the demand for modern, streamlined dining service.
Serving merchants and transients in the daytime, “the dog cart,” shown above, became the center of Norwood’s nightlife, a favorite rendezvous of young people on their way home from a dance, of the “Sixteen of Us Club” which met where the Norwood Trust building now stands.
There were two dog carts. The original street car which could perambulate was so successful that it was supplanted by a full sized railroad car. It was dragged through the streets from the depot and placed on a permanent foundation. In or about 1911, Mr. Hubbard became interested in the moving picture gadget and sold, his lunch business to Thomas Holman, newly come to town.
A far cry from these antecedents, the new Lewis restaurant will offer a main dining room, an impressive, bar, and the unique Tyot room in the basement for more informal, good times, as the latest in modern dining surroundings. It has one more link with the past. The creation of the Lewis plant is the work of architect Harry Korslund. Much of the architectural drawing and planning has been done by his assistant, Arthur Cook, grandson of Ezra Hubbard, who was Charles Hubbard’s brother.
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