Where to grab a bite in Boston at three in the morning? It’s a conundrum that plagues club-goers, college students and hungry Hub-dwellers all over town. There’s really only one spot that Bostonians from all walks of life can claim as a their greasy spoon mecca: Boston’s only 24-hour restaurant, the South Street Diner.
A short film that debuted Saturday at IFF Boston, “24 Hours At The South Street Diner,” tells the story of this 65-year-old Leather District landmark, painting a brightly colored portrait of a thriving community space with character to spare. The diner draws regulars and first-timers of all ages, ethnicities and backgrounds around the clock, serving up classic American diner fare from sizzling cheeseburgers and fries to chocolate chip pancakes and milkshakes in old-fashioned soda fountain glasses, plus beer in bottles and on tap, wine and mimosas until 1 a.m.
But the food is secondary to the soul of the place itself. Owner Sol Sidell says in the film that the diner’s celebrity outshines that of any one person who’s ever paid it a visit (and those people include rock bands, film stars and athletes). Preserved by the devotion of its community, the eatery that began in 1947 as the Blue Diner has survived fire, near-bankruptcy, changes in ownership and threats to its all-night hours to become the pastiche of Boston culture it is today. Continue reading