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This location is closed

By Chris Landers | Posted 8/26/2009

A sign that appeared recently on the side of the Avenue Diner in Hampden had us a little suspicious. It re-titled the old Hampden standby Breeze, and offered breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Now, the Avenue Diner wasn't anybody's idea of fine dining (fine food sign on the window notwithstanding) but it offered diner food cheap and quick. In other words, it did what it was supposed to do. This Breeze place sounded suspiciously organic--like maybe it was part of the ongoing march of yuppification. All it took was one question when we walked through the door on a near 100-degree summer day to set our fears to rest--the same question asked a thousand times a day in diners all over America: "Can I get you a cup of coffee?" Of course you can. And we'll take a look at the menu. Breakfast standards at 5 or 6 bucks, dinners like fried steak or liver and onions coming in under $10. We'll take the hamburger deluxe ($5.99) with gravy fries and a pickle, and we will sit in the cool quiet room in the high-backed vinyl booth watching the video-poker players by the counter. And so what if there's nothing particularly "deluxe" about the hamburger when it arrives? It is a hamburger, and it is good. It does what it is supposed to do. Just like Breeze.

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