Southborough restaurants of old: Share your memories and recipes

by beth on February 6, 2015

I got an unusual request from a reader. She is hoping someone has an old recipe from White’s Corner Restaurant.

She and a neighbor fondly recall White’s complimentary cottage cheese dip. She’s hoping to whip some up.

My memory is cloudy, but I thought I remembered cottage cheese and crackers being served at Andrea’s Restaurant. Am I wrong? Or was cottage cheese especially popular in Southborough?

The same reader also hoped I had a photo to share of the old restaurant.

A vacant Andrea's Restaurant, 2009 (photo by Susan Fitzgerald)Sadly, I don’t.  And I can’t find a trace on the world wide web. (I do have this one of Andrea’s old building years after it closed, but none from its heyday.)

What irks me the most is that I can’t even find any good information on the old eateries online. These sparse details are all I could dig up:

  • Susan once shared a summary of a 2001 Villager story on White’s Corner’s sudden and unexpected closing.
  • In 2009, a Metrowest Daily News profile of  a Southborough Native turned successful chef included his past work as a White’s Corner prep cook. It mentions that the kitchen made its gravy from scratch and butchered its meat.
  • In 2009, Susan wrote about the vacant Andrea’s Restaurant “I think childhood birthday parties, end-of-season soccer banquets, and Friday night family dinners. The restaurant has been vacant for more years than I can remember, and every time I drive by the property I think about what could be.”

Maybe some of you can help fill in the history gaps for the rest of us.

Share your memories of Southborough’s former restaurants in the comments below.

And if you happen to have a recipe for White’s Corner cottage cheese dip, you’ll make at least one reader’s day.

As always, if you have pictures to share, you can email mysouthborough@gmail.com.

1 E February 6, 2015 at 7:59 AM

We didn’t go to Whites Corner that much back in the day, but we went to Carbone’s in Hopkinton on Route 85 a lot. They definitely had the cottage cheese dip and crackers, and still do.

2 dizzy dame March 26, 2015 at 8:20 AM

I believe the cottage cheese recipe was chive cottage cheese, garlic powder. That’s it- I make it all the time!

3 John Kendall February 6, 2015 at 2:21 PM

My parents ran the Wagon Wheel Diner on Turnpike Road (where Domino’s and Subway are now) until 1970. They were always well known for the t-bone steaks my Dad cooked as well as the salad dressing that my Mother made every fresh single day.

4 beth February 6, 2015 at 2:31 PM

That’s a new one for me. From before my time. (Not just before I moved here. But actually a year before my time.)

5 Christy February 6, 2015 at 5:17 PM

I think the cottage cheese dip was something along these lines: cottage cheese ketchup and thousand island dressing.

6 Donna McDaniel February 6, 2015 at 7:25 PM

White’s Corner was originally the transfer point for the trolley coming from Boston to Worcester of transfer to Marlboro. There is a photo of that intersection.
I know there are a number of people who’ve been here longer than I who could tell thes story of White’s Comer — sadly the index for that topic in Fences of Stone says not a word about the restaurant. It was a great place for Sunday night dinners with the kids and the site of many a great retirement party for town employees. Another spot was the favorite
hang-out after town elections to celebrate or commiserate.
It is greatly missed. And the names of the family who owned it (Italian I’m quite sure) and the wonderful hostess were????

7 John Kendall February 7, 2015 at 10:03 AM

Frank and Lena Rossi were the owners of White’s Corner

8 Ron Mattioli February 7, 2015 at 11:17 AM

The Rossi family

9 E February 6, 2015 at 9:06 PM

The Rossis owned Whites Corner.

10 Paul beck February 6, 2015 at 11:30 PM

I used to work as a dishwasher back in the early 80s at Whites Corner. It was owned by Frank and Lena Rossi. Good people. Many memories. I remember the head chefs name was Hubba and he used to live in an apartment and bone Turnpike Liquors.

11 Dave Monroe February 7, 2015 at 1:13 AM

I worked as a bus boy at Whites Corner in the mid seventies. Lena and Frank Rossi owned the restaurant and their son Ponti (spelling?) was the bartender. Janet Rossi was the hostess. The cooks were Curt, Scott (Hubba), and Pat McCann. I cannot remember all the cooks last names, however I believe Scott is the school maintenance person at what was Woodward School and may know the recipe. I have lived in Florida for over twenty years and those memories have faded some.

12 Tim February 7, 2015 at 7:40 AM

Who could forget The Spa with it’s fixture Mr. Curran always in attendance. It was the nucleus of the town. We used to go their after hockey practice back in the 70’s for hot chocolate. The old timers held court every morning and the wait staff was alway smiling and new everyone. I moved away from S’bro back in 1986 but relive my childhood days every visit home to see family.

13 Carol February 7, 2015 at 9:49 AM

My husband says that Mrs. Bartolini cooked there in the earlier days. Then Frank and Lena Rossi, plus their son Frank Jr. ran the restaurant. Mrs. Rossi greeted everyone who came in the door by name.

14 Elaine Y February 7, 2015 at 4:32 PM

The Rossi Family owned White’s Corner. Lena was the hostess for years and years. Kathy McClellan was a waitress there maybe in the early 60’s.

15 Jim M. February 7, 2015 at 8:47 PM

I started working at Whites Corners as a dishwasher when I was 13 in the mid-1970’s. I became a busboy soon after that and then ultimately the salad/dessert boy. I am fairly certain the cottage cheese dip for the crackers given out at Whites Corner is the same recipe as what Carbones served 40 years ago and still serves today. It’s at least pretty close. I remember the head chef was Richard Rossi (the owner’s son), the other chef’s were Dave Bissett, Kurt Dickinson and fry cook Scott Dunnett (Hubba). The bartenders were Panti Rossi and Mike Maguire. Both Hubba and Mike are now working for the school system in town. I learned a lot working there and the standards were always high when it came to food and cleanliness.

16 southsider February 8, 2015 at 4:24 PM

Other Southborough restaurants of old included a few that were at the Route 85 corner near the train station. One of its final incarnations was as a Brazilian place but it had at least a couple of predecessors in same spot.
I also recall a fairly large restaurant at the corner of Central and Route 9 but can’t recall its name.
The site of today’s Rose Garden was also the site of a few other restaurants/bars… I remember Carpenters, Muley’s and maybe the LampLighter or Gas Lamp .. they actually had strippers there at that time! Muley’s had a run of a few years with enormous crowds for some very good rock and roll bands in late 70’s or early 80’s… the neighbors must have hated them!
That was fun, remembering all those spots… great topic.

17 William Pierce April 24, 2015 at 4:00 PM

It was the Lime Light. We use to go there after work (Carbone’s) for last call back in the day. I was a cook at Carbone’s

18 John Kendall February 8, 2015 at 5:14 PM

Eddie Currans was on the corner of Southville Road and River Street. In it’s history it was also home of The Kahili.The Rose Garden was (and before my time) The Holiday House, then The Limelight. They had strippers back then, then Muley’s which had some great bands (and a few incredible fights). Harvest Hill was at the corner of Route 9 and Central Street. In later years it became the Hong Chow.

19 Marjorie Coldwell March 19, 2015 at 8:06 AM

John,
Thank you for the name of the Kahili!
Yesterday at our family gathering after Stephen’s funeral we were looking for the name of the Chinese Restaurant in Southville. Laura remembers wanting to go there on half days because the Atwood Road school bus would let kids off there with parental permission! We all went their with Stephen’s mom and dad.
The first date Stephen and I had was a double date with his brother Ray and his wife Mary for a movie and then hot fudge sundaes at Harvest Hill’s Ice Cream Shop. During the early years of our marriage, Harvest Hill was a frequent dinner stop for their absolutely heavenly thinly sliced steak au jus with mashed potatoes!

20 Doreen A February 8, 2015 at 9:15 PM

There are a lot more restaurants that have been in town that I think will be remembered by many townies when their names are mentioned. In the 1960’s Giombetti’s was across from the commuter rail, then it became Eddie Curran’s (Dick Curran’s brother that owned the Spa), then the Anvil in the 1980’s, the one after that has slipped my mind, and ended with a Brazilian restaurant. The Rose Garden of today was the Corland Club, the Limelight (strip club), Muley’s, and then Carpenter’s. The site of Owen O’Leary’s on Route 9 was the VIP Lounge and then Bullwinkle’s. Harvest Hill Chocolates was after the Fayville lights going west on Route 9. That then became the Harvest Hill Restaurant with a small room of chocolates, and finally the Hong Chow Chinese restaurant. Of course already mentioned was White’s Corner and Andrea’s both on Route 9. Nothing like a trip down memory lane!

21 William Pierce April 24, 2015 at 4:14 PM

Mamma Maria’s was the one I think you are talking about that slipped your mind Doreen. Al Carbone and his partner remodeled the inside of that building (Al was a Contractor) I actually liked the job they did. They only lasted a short time. The food led to their demise. The Head Chef wasn’t very good at Italian Food. The partner had worked at Ma Glockners and the Chicken was quite good. They weren’t in business to long.The building caught fire in the kitchen and that ended mama Maria’s.

22 Doreen A April 25, 2015 at 3:41 PM

Thanks for reminding me about Mama Maria’s. I remember it now that you mention it. Just to let you know, my mother worked with you at Carbone’s. I’m sure you remember Judy. Those were the days!!

23 Donna McDaniel June 9, 2015 at 8:27 PM

GREAT MEMORY! Sounds so famliar… and so sad that they’re gone and nothing to take their place.

24 hubba hubba February 12, 2015 at 11:06 AM

in response to Christy .. idea of what was in the cheese dip.. sorry Christy.. not even close…..

25 resident February 12, 2015 at 3:09 PM

So…..what was it?

26 recipe collector March 19, 2015 at 2:58 PM

I agree with “hubba hubba” that the mixture that Christy mentioned is not even close. Her suggestion sounds like a salad dressing and what they served was more like a cheese spread, not a dip or dressing, which are both possible foods to make with cottage cheese. Maybe someone will come up with the recipe, as it was tasty.

27 Donna McDaniel March 19, 2015 at 5:45 PM

Loving all these memories…esepcially of White’s Corner and the Rossi’s and sad that all the places are gone.
I do think the Chinese restaurant at Rte. 85 and Southville Rd was the Hong Chow. Sound familiar to others?
I assume the Andrea has been mentioned in connection with Ralph Giombetti. A lot of us were hoping that spot right on Rte. 9 would be taken over by someone else…
Not sure if I mentioned this before: when some of us complained about White’s Corner disappearing, the answer was “Oh, but another restaurant will be gong in there.” Well, Yes, there’s a lovely restaurant there–for those with bigger budgets.. wouldn’t be taking the kids here o a Sunday night,

28 Jim Foley March 20, 2015 at 8:43 AM

Donna the Hong Chow was on Rt 9 at the Fayville lights. The Kahili was at the corner of Rt85 & Southville rd

29 Donna McDaniel June 9, 2015 at 8:30 PM

One other person agrees with me about Hong Chow in Cordaville but… I do agree there was a Chinese place at southeast corner of 9 and Central St.
So where was Bullwinkle’s so I can try to figure that one out? Is familiar but…

30 hubba hubba March 20, 2015 at 10:33 AM

Just keep the conversation going… does anybody remember the name of the restaurant that were there before Bullwinkles ??????? There were two ????

31 John Kendall March 26, 2015 at 2:49 PM

Before Bullwinkles there was the V.I.P. Lounge, not sure of anything else

32 Kevin McGilicuddy April 9, 2015 at 3:24 AM

I started dishwashing at Andrea’s on Parkerville and route 9 in 1973. George Frances was the owner and a very memorable boss. Doreen B. will remember working here with my brother Sean. We had a very similar dip consisting of cottage cheese, garlic salt, pepper, worcestshire, tobasco and chives.

33 Skip Hawkins April 20, 2015 at 1:05 PM

Got to this site looking for info to share with my guys heading to the Boston area on business. I worked as a tech for Air Products out of Atlanta, GA from ’79 – ’81. Worked 2 weeks on, 2 off at the Hopkinton plant for almost a year. Ate breakfast and lunch at Fitzgerald’s and partied at Muley’s. The owner of Fitzgerald’s learned to cook grits for us GA boys! Just like “Cheers,” Gutty, the bartender, kept us a stool at the end of the bar. Wonderful music. Great times.

34 Donna McDaniel June 9, 2015 at 8:34 PM

Gosh… wish all these cooks and oeioke with memories would get together and get us a restaurant… Andrea is still there for sale!
With all those people moving into Madison Place and eventually Park Central… have to make sure they don’t go to Westboro’s many restaurants…and fastfood..
Donna

35 Mark Ford June 10, 2015 at 3:53 PM

Donna, are you sure Andrea’s is for sale? I thought the Volvo place owned it, but I could well be wrong.

36 Pat D June 10, 2015 at 8:34 PM

Farrell Volvo did buy Andrea Rest. property several years ago. However, some other company bought Farrell Volvo (don’t remember the name — not a local company). Supposedly they (the new company) is taking down the old Andrea — don’t know the fate of 245 Turnpike. The entire corner needs to be cleaned up.

37 Rick Mattioli June 11, 2015 at 12:54 PM

The Brazilian Restaurant was called the Ipanema, and was in business longer than
any other one at that location.

When it was the Kahili, I was in the house band that played Fri/Sat nights. It was always a fun place to go, and was packed with Town residents.

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