Wagon Wheels Diner
Wagon Wheels Diner at Frank Fratus Square. West Vine Street is in the foreground, Bradford runs into the distance. [Courtesy of Susan Leonard]
Alfred “Fall River” Pereira, left, at the counter of the Wagon Wheels Diner. [Courtesy of Scott Reiniger and of Brett-Carol Avallone, through Ben Kettlewell]
Ethelyn Pereira and obviously satisfied customers. [Courtesy of Scott Reiniger and of Brett-Carol Avallone, through Ben Kettlewell]
Left: Matchbook cover. [Salvador R. Vasques III / Facebook / My Provincetown Memorabilia Collection] Right: Close-up version of the photo above. Note the wagon wheels on either side of the short stairway. [Courtesy of Susan Leonard]
Alfred “Fall River” Pereira moved his Wagon Wheels Diner to this spot in 1947 from Route 3 in Plymouth. “Once horse-drawn over the rough roads, Wagon Wheels is coming to the Cape End on a low-boy trailer,” the Advocate reported on 12 June. (If you look very closely at the photograph, you may be able to discern the wagon wheels flanking the stairway to the diner entrance.) The diner stood where the Dairy Queen would later be constructed, when this part of the West End was almost rural, given the presence nearby of the large Galeforce Farm.
“This was my mom and dad’s diner,” Donna Avallone wrote on 3 November 2020 to the My Provincetown Memorabilia Collection page on Facebook. “I went up to Plymouth with them to haul it down on a flatbed to Provincetown. I still know the exact spot it was sitting in Plymouth, just up the hill from Plymouth Rock. So many kids in Provincetown were running barefoot behind the diner as it was brought up to the corner of Bradford Street and West Vine Street. What a special day that was. I won’t ever forget. … And yes my precious dad was always known as ‘Fall River,’ and depending on how you said it, it would come out as ‘Fore River,’ as none of us in Provincetown pronounced the letter ‘R,’ it always sounded like ‘AH'”
Avalone added: “My father never changed his last name to Perry. My grandparents were from St. Michael’s in the Azores. My father was the first one to have the Dairy Queen, added on to the diner in the early ’50s. When he sold it, the diner was taken down, and there was no longer inside dining, but tables and benches on a cement floor. The Dairy Queen side was to the right and food was separate, to the left.”
Susan Leonard wrote on 26 May 2010: It was operated by Alfred “Fall River” Perry, a/k/a Pereira. Joe “The Barber” Ferreira opened the Dairy Queen in that location. Then two generations of Silvas continued; first with the original Dairy Queen and morphed into Silva’s Seafood Connection when my cousins David and Paul Silva bought out their father and uncle. David is now one of the owners of the Red Inn. Alfred “Fall River” inherited the nickname from his father, as is so often the case.
¶ Last updated on 15 November 2022.
175 Bradford Street Extension on the Town Map, showing property lines.
Also at this address
• Dairy Queen, later Silva’s Seafood Connection, LiCata’s, and Beach Grill
• Victor’s | West Vine Condominiums, Building 400 (Unit C-1)
• West Vine Condominiums, Buildings 100, 200, and 300
2 thoughts on “175 Bradford Street Extension”
Beautiful work and research. That first photo at the top is the best, most clear image I’ve ever seen of the Wagon Wheels Diner. Thank you, David.
Thank you, Ben. And thank you so much for passing on those extraordinary interiors.