Framingham Online News

Saturday at CJ's Northside Grille

Filed under: Around Town by Randy Harris at 9:12 pm on September 4, 2011
Patrons at CJ's Northside Grille take in some of the hot rods that show up most Saturday afternoons for the Class Car Cruise-in.

Patrons at CJ's Northside Grille take in some of the hot rods that show up most Saturday afternoons for the Classic Car Cruise-in.

FRAMINGHAM, MA - Bob Bradway probably never imagined that nearly 60 years after he opened the "Nobscot Drive-In" that many of the same types of cars would still be cruisin' to the same parking lot on Saturday afternoons.

Never heard of the Nobscot Drive-In? Don't feel left out, it hasn't been called that for five decades -- most locals remember it as Riley's Roast Beef, or McCarthy's or Leon's or Lobster in the Red -- or most recently as CJ's Northside Grille -- same place, different era.

This weekend, in addition to the Classic Car Cruise-in, the owners of CJ's opened up the parking lot to the Framingham High School Flyers Cheerleaders who held a car wash from 11:00am - 3:00pm.

(Photo) Danielle Lagman, Cora Lincoln and Carol Rotella of the Framingham Flyers Cheerleading, tired but happy after washing cars to raise funds with the rest of the squad at CJ's Northside Grille, (Saturday, September 3, 2011).

Danielle Lagman, Cora Lincoln and Carol Rotella of the Framingham Flyers Cheerleading, tired but happy after washing cars to raise funds with the rest of the squad at CJ's Northside Grille, (Saturday, September 3, 2011).

Danielle Lagman, Cora Lincoln and Carol Rotella, the three last girls to leave, said the car wash was a great success -- but a lot of work.

Along with about 20 other cheerleaders, the girls washed approximately 70 cars at $7.00 a scrub, and raised about $500.00 that will help towards paying for professional choreography and clinics for the squad.

According to Lagman, last year the cost for the extra clinics and a pro to choreograph the squad's routines was about $3000  -- but the girls are willing to work to afford a little extra edge when it comes time for this year's Bay State League cheering competition.

Hot-rodders, car buffs (and foodies) cruise in to CJ's to show off their rides, meet with other car enthusiasts, and of course -- to have a great meal. Did I mention CJ's has the best roast beef sandwiches around?

In recent years, businesses in the Nobscot area of Framingham have suffered through road construction, a bad economy, and other factors that have left many business owners with no choice but to close or relocate.

(Photo) CJ's Northside Grill, Framingham MA

Can I take your order?

Last year Gerard's Farm Kitchen, located about 3/4 mile from the center of Nobscot closed after 4 generations of Gerards had earned their living selling turkey dinners, daily special hot lunches, and all kinds of homemade farm fresh side dishes, pies and ready to eat foods.

To help fill the void left by Gerard's closing, CJ's is now selling a sandwich they call the "Super Bird", inspired by Gerard's "Turkey Deluxe" -- basically it's Thanksgiving dinner between two slices of bread; sliced fresh roasted turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and bit of mayo. (The name "Super Bird" is a reference to a classic muscle car produced in 1970 of the same name. The Super Bird car was a highly modified, high performance version of the Plymouth Road Runner that had a huge spoiler "wing" that spanned from quarter-panel to quarter panel over the car's rear deck lid).

Dan McSeweeney's '37 Fiat Topolino hot-rod.

Dan McSweeney's '37 Fiat Topolino hot-rod, (click on photo to enlarge and get a better look!)

Ok.... lets look at some more cars!

NOTE: You can click any photo on this page to enlarge and view all the photos as a slide show!

One car that drew a lot of attention was Dan McSweeney's 1937 Fiat Topolino.

Dan, who lives in Framingham took over the project when his dad passed away in 2008.

Rather than restore the car to it's original condition, Dan went all out and built it into a high performance 350 c.i. Chevy powered dragster.

Stripping off the front and rear fenders made plenty of room for the custom dragster style front end, disc brakes, open headers, centerlines and massive rear tires.

Ribby's 1915 Ford Center-Door Model T.

Ribby's 1915 Ford Center-Door Model T at CJ's Northside Grille in Nobscot on Saturday, September 3, 2011.

Another car that got lots of looks, and lots of questions was "Ribby's" 1915 Center-Door Ford Model T.

Ribby cruised down to CJ's from Littleton, MA for dinner and to hang out with the rest of the motorheads.

This Model-T is no Sunday driver -- Ribby and his wife have taken it cross-country, and pulled their classic 50's teardrop trailer with it to boot!

Most Model-T's that are built into hot rods usually have the roof chopped -- but since this one wasn't and the oval rear window is left intact, many people think the roof was actually raised -- it wasn't.

Ribby, his wife, the 1915 Center-Door Model-T and teardrop trailer in the South Dakota Badlands on 2008.

Ribby, his wife, the 1915 Center-Door Model-T and teardrop trailer in the South Dakota Badlands.

All of this old Tin Lizzie's sheet-metal is exactly as it was in 1915 -- down to the fenders and running boards, (the car was loaded with brass hardware when it was new, and all has been been restored or replaced -- the heavy brass door handles are original).

The V8 drive-train, automatic transmission, radial tires and few other upgrades like A/C, power windows and electric lights -- instead of the original kerosene lanterns -- make it bit more enjoyable to drive on those 3000-5000 mile runs Ribby likes to make.

The 1915 Center-Door wasn't the only  Model T to cruise down to CJ's this weekend.

Fabricated 1927 Ford Model-T Roadster -- yeah, that's a six pack sticking out through the hood.

Fabricated 1927 Ford Model-T Roadster.

Dave from Marlborough, MA came in his 1927 Ford Model T-Roadster.

Well, calling it a '27 isn't exactly correct...

Dave built the "Highboy" from scratch -- every single piece of it from the ground up was fabricated to look like a '27 -- but this one is 100% "built by Dave".

...and yeah, that's a six pack sticking out through the hood.

Phil Martel had no problem cruising to CJ's from his home in Shrewsbuy, MA in his Pontiac 2+2.

With just over 70, 000 miles, Phil's 1966, Pontiac 2+2 is barely broken in, and with a 421 c.i. V-8 he barely needs to touch the gas pedal to make it up and down Rt. 9.

When Phil was diagnosed with cancer about 20 years ago, he decided to buy himself a toy.

Phil Martel's 1966 Pontiac 2+2

Phil Martel's 1966 Pontiac 2+2

The 2+2 reminded him of his first car, a '66 Catalina, so he bought it. The car is 99.9% original -- the only thing that isn't stock is the redline tires -- an improvement any 60's muscle car lover would agree!

While many people think Phil's 2+2 is a Catalina -- it's not.

When Pontiac first introduced the 2+2 it was an option package for the '64 Catalina, in '65 Pontiac built up the car increasing the motor size from a 389 to 421, and added dual exhaust, heavy duty suspension and  its own trim package.

In 1966, Pontiac built 6,383 of the cars and marketed them as only as the  "Pontiac 2+2", then in 1967, Pontiac reverted back to selling Catalina's with the "2+2" option package, making Phil's 2+2 a very rare model indeed.  And since Phil's cancer is totally in remission, he'll have plenty of time to enjoy his "toy".

Next up is Greg from Natick's 1936 "wicked orange" Master Deluxe -- followed by a few more cars from this week's Saturday cruise to CJ's.  Enjoy!

Sorry buddy... that ride's too new... you'll have to park it around back.

Sorry buddy... that ride's too new... you'll have to park it around back.

The cruise-ins will be held every Saturday 'til mid October -- but the food at CJ's is good enough to make it worth the trip any day of the week!

See ya' at CJ's!

CJ's Northside Grill is open 7 days a week, with breakfast served starting at 6:00am. They are located at 911 Edgell Rd, Framingham, MA 01701. For more info, call (508) 877-5900, or visit their website at: www.cjsnorthsidegrill.com

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  1. CJ’s rulz!

    Comment by Perry — September 4, 2011 @ 9:58 pm

  2. old is gold…………..

    Comment by krish — September 5, 2011 @ 12:19 am

  3. Nice article, great photos, thanks, we LOVE CJ’s in Nobscot!

    Comment by Brett — September 5, 2011 @ 9:30 am

  4. JOIN US SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 18TH, 2011 at CJ’s Northside Grill, 911 Edgell Rd., Framingham, MA for “Cars and Coffee”, 6:00am – 11:00am *** Rise and shine your wheels early! *** Stop in on your way to the local car shows *** Your favorite Breakfast served all morning! *** Antique – Classic – Exotic Cars – Motorcycles *** CJ’s Northside Grille is the home to Cruisin in Metro-West!

    Comment by Car Guy — September 6, 2011 @ 1:13 am

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