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Senator Collins Attends WaCo Diner 100th Anniversary Celebration


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Eastport, ME – Yesterday, U.S. Senator Susan Collins joined local elected officials and distinguished guests at the WaCo Diner to recognize the Centennial Anniversary of Maine’s Oldest Diner. During the ceremony, Senator Collins presented a copy of the statement she submitted to the Congressional Record in recognition of the WaCo Diner’s 100th Anniversary to the current owners Mike Del Papa and Matt Boyle. Mike and Matt bought the restaurant in 2022, after Mike’s dad Bob retired at the age of 83 after many years of operating and growing the business.

“Maine’s diners have always been more than just places to eat— they stand at the center of local communities, offering a welcoming space where friends, family, and neighbors come together. For many Mainers, diners are a home away from home, where stories are shared and memories are made, and the WaCo Diner is no exception,” said Senator Collins. “Congratulations to Bob, Mike, Matt, and the entire WaCo Diner family on celebrating 100 years in operation, and here's to the next 100!”

Nelson Watts and Ralph Colwell purchased a lunch wagon in 1923; took it off its wheels and declared it to be the WaCo Diner. The name was derived from combining syllables from the surnames of its new owners. At the time, the city’s 4,500 residents commonly filled the streets, frequenting the dozens of businesses and grocers lining the downtown. The slow decline of the sardine industry over the next several decades, combined with the urbanization of the country, saw a similar decline in population in Eastport. The closure of Eastport’s last sardine factory in 1983 marked the end of an era. But, the WaCo continued to be a favorite among the locals and a curiosity for visitors, a reputation they have never lost.