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New England Dining Reviews>>> The Town Common, Hopedale, Mass.

Visiting Hopedale MA and the Town Common Restaurant
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Image of Hopedale MA/Town Common Restaurant
The Town Common restaurant, located  on the first floor (center) of the historic Hopedale Town Hall building
Article and photo by Eric H.
The Town Common restaurant in Hopedale, Mass., has a very uncommon feature: it's located within the historic Hopedale Town Hall building.

The restaurant's location suggests a dining spot that's about as "townie" as one could get. We see standalone townie restaurants in our downtown districts, at the strip malls, and as roadside shacks on remote streets. I can't recall ever seeing a restaurant located in a town hall.

It would be overly enthusiastic to say the Town Common restaurant is the best of its kind in the free universe. That would be easy to state as sometimes the unique character or presence of a restaurant makes the food seem to taste all that much better. What I can say about the Town Common restaurant is that's it's a very, very good townie breakfast and sandwich place with the requisite combination of counter, tables, coffee brewing, and quick, efficient service. It's fine for a burger, club sandwich, pancakes, etc.

When at the Town Common, I was glad to see that tiny Hopedale supports local businesses like the Town Common restaurant. Police, fire, town hall personnel, local contractors, and stay-at-home moms packed the place and with good reason: Hopedale is a very close-knit community that has a very neighborly vibe, businesses included. It has always been that way. Let me digress for a moment from the main story here...This beautiful small town was once a Utopian village in the 1840s, and then later evolved into an industrial giant with the birth of the former Draper Corporation (once the largest manufacturer of automated cotton looms in America). People lived and worked in this town and with Draper leading the way built a community with a disciplined, committed almost modified socialist political, social and economic platform for the benefit of the residents only. Everyone made some kind of contribution to the town.

It's a bit different today, as Hopedale is, more or less, a bedroom suburb to Boston, Mass., Providence, R.I., and Worcester, Mass.  But to this day, Hopedale is not a typical suburb. Hopedale features incredible, one-after-another examples of stunning pre and post Industrial Revolution architecture in the form of old homes and municipal buildings. Churches, schools, municipal buildings and the town common are centered around the downtown -- the way things used to be like in New England. It's a place where I see more people taking walks than any other small town suburb I know in this area. Additionally, the Hopedale River adds a real touch of scenic beauty. While other communities seem to keep branching out with new neighborhoods and shopping centers, Hopedale, more or less, seems like an established community with relatively little change to its five square miles.

The few well-run businesses that currently operate in this gem of a small town are part of that neighborhood tradition. The Town Common restaurant makes it all that much better an experience for locals by doing everything right, on time, at a good value (lower prices than most townie restaurants, and with a location that just adds to the hometown flavor of this great, great town.

The Town Common
76 Hopedale St.
Hopedale, MA
Tel. 508) 473-3004

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