Gilley's On The Net




Wednesday, July 25, 2001

  E-mail This Article

Gilley’s PM Lunch now on the net


Democrat Staff Writer

PORTSMOUTH — Gilley’s PM Lunch has finally acknowledged it’s place on the "e-Coast" by taking up residence in cyberspace.

A business that began as a horse-drawn lunch cart in 1912, Gilley’s official Web site opened at  about three weeks ago, said Steve Kennedy, who owns the Portsmouth icon with his wife, Gina.

Williams/Democrat photo
Gilley’s PM Lunch at 175 Fleet St. in Portsmouth now has another address, on the Internet at

At this point the site contains basic information about the downtown fast-food joint, including pictures, directions and a short history.

"I figured it was about time," he said. "I like being forced to do things."

Kennedy explained how a business runs in cycles and it’s important to make changes, even if their done with a hint of reluctance, in order to keep up with the times. The last major change occurred about 10 years ago with the addition of french fries to the menu.

He plans on revamping the site over the next few weeks to include features like a message board or some sort of forum where people could talk to each other.

"It (Gilley’s) always seems to be some sort of meeting place for people that haven’t seen each other in a long time," he said.

In addition, Kennedy said he would like to post upcoming events on the site like a hot dog eating contest he is planning this summer to raise money for a local charity

"I might even get a Web cam for Friday nights," he added.

The original Gilley’s lunch cart was pulled into Market Square by horse each evening and parked in front of North Church. The Gilley’s cart that stands today was made in 1940 by the Worcester Diner Co. in Massachusetts and is just one of five built, the only one remaining in full operation today, according to the site.

Although permanently situated after being moved to its present Fleet Street location in June 1974., the truck that towed the diner is still attached to the front of the structure and the interior has remained untouched.

Just over a month ago, Wells, Maine resident John Perry painted a 12-foot tall, 20-foot long mural behind the restaurant depicting downtown Portsmouth in 1912 complete with a horse-drawn Gilley’s lunch cart.

The historic diner is named after longtime employee Ralph "Gilley" Gilbert. Gilley served dogs and burgers from the diner’s tiny kitchen for more than 50 years.

"An icon in Portsmouth history, Gilley was known for his flawless memory, kindness, and generosity," according to the site. "He greeted his customers by name, had a good word for everyone, and never let the lack of funds prevent a hungry customer from eating. Gilley died in 1986 but his name and fame continues."



© 2001 Geo. J. Foster Co.

For More Information Contact:

Gilley's PM Lunch
175 Fleet Street
Tel: 603-431-6343


Home ] Up ]

Send mail to with questions or comments about this web site.
Copyright © 2016 Gilley's PM Lunch