Historic Restaurants of Cape Cod

Starbuck’s in Hyannis courtesy of Marty Bloom

According to an oft-cited Ohio State University study released in 2005 by H.G. Parsa, John T. Self, David Njite and Tiffany King, 60 percent of restaurants do not survive past their first year, and 80 percent go under within five years. It is much more common for an establishment to open and close in the blink of an eye before it has the chance to leave a mark on a region.

Those cherished places may not be standing anymore, but they remain alive in the memories of longtime Cape Codders and visitors over the last several decades. It takes great customer service, tremendous cuisine, unique décor and a little je ne sais quoi to turn an ordinary everyday restaurant into an icon.

In the last century, thousands of restaurants have come and gone on Cape Cod. Some burn out in the blink of an eye, while others stand the test of time and leave an indelible mark on the fabric of the Cape. A few of those landmark spots are still up and running to this day, carrying the torch for so many places and owners who fell by the wayside. However, those are few and far between. For the most part, those beloved restaurants of yesteryear have faded with the passage of time.

On June 19th a new book will shine a light on some of these icons, sharing their history and some stories of what made these establishments legendary. The book is Historic Restaurants of Cape Cod written by Christopher Setterlund and released by Arcadia Publishing The History Press. There are more than three dozen spots featured in the book and even some classic recipes from these establishments inside for those who might want to recreate a few favorites.

Historic Restaurants of Cape Cod shares iconic spots from every corner of the peninsula. From The Dome Restaurant located within eyesight of the Steamship Authority docks in Woods Hole east to the Northport Restaurant in Chatham all the way north to The Moors in Provincetown, the entirety of the Cape is covered.


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