Originally Exhibited Fall 2019 – Spring 2020
Westford saw many restaurants come and go. These eateries came in all sizes, while they were sometimes frequented more for atmosphere than their food. The Old Oaken Bucket, The Tiki Lau (New Tiki), and Polly’s were only a few examples. Smaller, lesser known eateries had their time in Westford as well.
The Tiki Lau on rt. 110 opened in 1974, under the ownership of Peter Yee. They offered Cantonese, Polynesian, Mandarin, Szechuan, and some American.
Also on rt. 110, the business had a second restaurant by 1975 in Amesbury, MA, Tiki Lau II. This restaurant became Weiloon Cafe by the early 2000s, and eventually closed in 2005. The building’s roof collapsed in winter 2011.
Westford’s Tiki was bought by Lawrence Gordon in 2007. It became the “New Tiki” as part of a revitalization effort for the restaurant. New Tiki closed in 2008, and the building was demolished in 2016. After, the property was redeveloped into a retail and restaurant complex, “Orchard Square.”
Menus donated by Lawrence Gordon
Laminated cover, paper interior
9.5×13.5″, 8.5×11″, 4.25×11”
Lounge Photo (Copy)
Plastic Drink Stirrer
The property on rt. 110 that became the Old Oaken Bucket restaurant was bought by Valentine Friedrich in 1928, and initially ran a business called Friedrich’s. The Oaken Bucket was in operation by 1935. The property is now The 99 Restaurant. It was not far from the Tiki Lau.
“Old Oaken Bucket” was a reference to the poem by Samuel T. Woodsworth (1784 – 1842), born in Scituate, MA. The poem was also namesake of a Westford farm owned by the Taylor family on Lowell Road, operated into the mid-twentieth century.
Into the 1940s, the operation had furnished rental cabins. Later owners included the Vickers brothers after 1947, then Otto Hohl and Albert Croft by 1954. It was owned by the Cunha family starting 1970, with the lodging removed some time prior.
The building had multiple fires in the 1980s. Rex Seley managed the operation after it reopened in 1992, according to the Lowell Sun. Seley suddenly closed the restaurant on January 28, 2002, and tried to sell it. Employees and property owner, Cunha Corp, were not immediately informed of the closure or sales negotiations. Ultimately, Cunha leased the building to The 99 later the same year, with promise of hiring Oaken Bucket employees.
The menus were donated by Shirley MacDougall and George Walker. The ca. 1955 menu from George Walker was donated on behalf of 1950s employees Rena Jeddrey, Harriette Walker, Sally Reeves, and Marilyn Dube.
Polly’s Restaurant opened in 1941 as the Four Corners Restaurant, named after its location. “The Four Corners” at the intersection of Boston Rd and 110 is also known as Minot’s Corner, and is now the site of Cornerstone Square, a major shopping center. The location was colloquially named after Maj. Jonathan Minot (1723-1806) and his family, which lived there into the 1940s. This family’s house was removed and replaced by Polly’s, known for a WWII airplane on its roof. According to the Westford Gazetteer, two different planes were affixed throughout the establishment’s life.
The restaurant was originally owned and operated by Costa “Polly” Polesayka (1908-1998). By 1963, it was run by Domenic Del Papa (1917-1996). They had a dance floor and jukebox, and offered breakfasts, fried clams, hamburgers, and other meals common for diner establishments. Due to tax issues in 1964, the land was briefly taken by the town. The tax issues were resolved by 1967, the restaurant being sold to the business’ operator, Del Papa, that year. Polly’s was ultimately closed and sold to Mobil Oil by 1970, and replaced by the Mobil gas station presently at the site.
Framed 1949 Photo (copy)
Other Local Eateries included such places as a small chowder and ice cream establishment overlooking Nabnasset Lake in the 1890s. Nabnasset was a small summer community and destination into the 20th century. Cozy Corner operated in the 1970s at Minot’s corner, and offered pizza, subs, and seafood. The Alabama Lunch was operating in the 1930s on rt. 110 near present day Chili’s, with one owner having died of rabies.
Stereograph of chowder shack
Photo of Cozy Corner