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A kitchen for every taste

Pete’s Diner, named after the company president, is one of three themed kitchens at Commonwealth Financial. Pete’s Diner, named after the company president, is one of three themed kitchens at Commonwealth Financial. (Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff)
By Johnny Diaz
Globe Staff / November 6, 2011

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It's the ambiance as much as the food that makes lunch fun at Commonwealth Financial Network. The financial services company provides employees themed kitchen areas, where they can break away from their desks and socialize with colleagues.

On the first floor, there’s Pete’s Diner, named after the company’s president, Peter Wheeler. That kitchen has diner booths, spinning stools, a jukebox, and vintage straw dispensers.

Up on the second floor, employees can hang ten in the surf-themed kitchen, where surfboards hang from the ceiling and floor tiles resemble pebbles and sand.

The kitchen is painted an ocean-blue hue, and about 50 pairs of flip-flops decorate the room. Plus, there’s a wall-size fish tank filled with blowfish and “Finding Nemo’’ look-alikes.

The fourth-floor dining area is called the tree-top kitchen, because it’s all glass windows with views of the woods.

“Our kitchens are well-used, and we want a place that is attractive and fun for our employees to gather,’’ said Kate Creagh, managing principal of human resources at the company, which has 450 employees in Waltham. “It creates a place of community.’’

Another company perk: The kitchens are stocked with coffee, tea, and hot chocolate. On Fridays, there are bagels, yogurt, and waffles, too.