The giant sign above Al Mac’s Diner has been taken down. But don’t worry — it’s just for a few months while the restaurant gets a new roof and the sign gets some long overdue repairs. But the fixes are expensive and the diner’s owners have launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise the estimated $45,000.
The diner has a long history in Fall River. Al McDermott started selling meals to the city’s textile workers in 1910, traveling from mill to mill with his horse-drawn wagon. Some 30 years later, McDermott began opening diners throughout New England. He saved the best for last, opening Al Mac’s — which he named after himself in giant blue neon letters — in 1953.
The stainless steel DeRaffele diner was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1999, joining the Lizzie Borden House and U.S.S. Massachusetts as Fall River landmarks.
Today the Dunse family owns and operates Al Mac’s Diner: Susan Dunse and her children Robert W. Dunse II (who is the chef) and Laura Reed. Chef Robert serves up classic comfort food with a modern twist. Personally, I can vouch for the corned beef hash.
“When my kids were little, we would sit at the counter in front of the flattop grill,” Susan Dunse told the Herald News. “They could watch their pancakes getting cooked.
“We are from Fall River, born and bred. There are a lot of things that are great about this city. This is one of them. We want to take care of it.”