Maine Diner in Wells, Maine

The eatery was originally a pet project of Socrates “Louie” Toton, a Boston restaurateur who retired to Wells in 1953. Current owner Richard “Dick” Henry tells us, “He was mostly interested in working in the garden. He didn’t even open in the summer. It was a hobby, obviously, because [that’s] the only time you can make money here.” When Louie passed away, he left  the diner to his sisters—who had no interest in the restaurant business.

Fortunately, someone nearby did. Dick and his two brothers—Myles, who worked across the street at the still-operating Bull and Claw seafood and steak house, and Bruce—pooled their resources, and raised enough money to buy the diner and the adjoining house (now a gift shop) in 1983. “The only way we were able to afford it is that the house came with it. So we had housing and we had food, and we paid ourselves $50 a week,” Dick says.