Deluxe Town Diner, a Watertown fixture, seeks donations to ‘keep the doors open’

Donors will get gift cards equal to their contributions.

Deluxe Town Diner in Watertown. Joanne Rathe / Boston Globe, File

An iconic Watertown diner is trying to raise $100,000 to stay open as it bears the strain of the coronavirus pandemic.

The owners of Deluxe Town Diner, a historic train car diner that opened in 1947, started a GoFundMe fundraiser last week asking local lovers of challah French toast and Rhode Island jonnycakes to help keep the restaurant afloat. Here’s what owners Don and Daryl Levy wrote on the fundraiser page:

The Covid19 pandemic has in big ways adversely impacted our business. We survived the 3 months doing take out only, and now it’s necessary to ask for some help, “TO KEEP THE DOORS OPEN.”  Due to restrictions, we are only able to service, “less than half of our customers.”  We are asking our loyal customers and friends to donate and to also buy future food at the diner [with a] gift card.

Donors will receive a prepaid gift card equal to their donations. Giving $100 will net donors cards worth $110. The fundraiser has raised nearly $30,000 as of Monday evening.

The Levys have owned the diner—which is in the National Register of Historic Places and once became a set for a characteristically messy Blue Man Group music video—since 2000. They previously ran the Blue Diner in Boston, which is now South Street Diner. (And by the way—Boston Magazine says Deluxe Town Diner has some of the best pies in town, if you’re still figuring out your Thanksgiving plans.)

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