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Blog Post  Surplus Property Spotlight: Shawmut Diner

  • Operational Services Division

THE STATE SURPLUS PROPERTY OFFICE (SSPO) RECENTLY HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO FACILITATE the public auction of a piece of Massachusetts history – the Shawmut Diner. In an online auction that ran for two weeks in mid-July, individuals placed their bids to become the new owners of the original unit, including the vestibule, doors, neon sign, and roof coping.

The primary responsibility of the SSPO is to facilitate the transfer of unwanted or no longer needed property to extend the usable life of items owned by the state. Common items available on the Surplus Property Listing include office furniture, technology, and other items associated with conducting state business.

Shawmut Diner

So, how did the historic Shawmut Diner come to be owned and auctioned by the Commonwealth?

According to the listing, the Shawmut Diner was built in 1953 and operated on the corner of Shawmut Avenue and Hathaway Road in New Bedford for several decades under two separate owners. In 2003, while owned and operated by a local radio personality, the diner was added to the National Register of Historic Places. When the owners retired in 2014, they donated the diner to the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office for use in a training program teaching inmates food service skills.

As of this year, the diner no longer is needed by the Sheriff’s Department, so they reached out to the SSPO to find a new owner for the Shawmut Diner. The public auction ended in a bidding war in the final hours, and the revenue generated from the sale went back to the Commonwealth.

The Shawmut Diner auction has concluded, but you may review the auction listing here. The SSPO posts vehicle auctions available to the public on a regular basis; to view and participate in SSPO online auctions, simply navigate to “MassOSD” labelled auctions on the Auctions International item map and register to bid

Shawmut Diner


For property available for transfer to Executive Departments and other eligible entities, please view the Surplus Property Listing and register to request items of interest.

Shawmut Diner Auction in the News: 

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