This Is Framingham

This Is Framingham
Life in the ‘ham


June 24th, 2008

the V!My name is Michelle (formerly Swartz) McElroy, I was born at Framingham Union Hospital (with my twin sister) and grew up in Holliston, MA  Even though I wasn’t raised in Framingham, I have always had family here.  My dad and uncle owned a business in downtown Framingham in the 70’s and 80’s, and my twin sister and I have fond memories “helping” and spending time there. I worked in Framingham to help support myself while attending Framingham State College, and in 2005 purchased a home next to the hospital where I was born.

The purpose of this blog is to share my experinces and help make people aware of local business  and any interesting progress, changes and events going on in Framingham, and to have fun.  I’m open to and encourage comments but if you’re looking to pick a fight over a restaurant or something please don’t bother.  There are plenty of blogs out there that can accomodate the need for insulting and superiority fixes, I like to think of this blog as a vacation from that stuff : )


Want to send an email or have old Framingham pictures you want to share?

I’m on IM too, AOL IM: pizzaguy2000

Additional note:  Sometimes people ask me to promote their event/store/item.  Before you ask, please keep in mind this is just a personal blog about things I experience.  If I haven’t tried or wasn’t planning on trying something,  I can’t post about it.  But, I do “barter” in the form of an exchange for  a post (free adversizing) for a ticket to the event, food at a restuarant, sample of an item etc… to experience/post about.   I’d love to check out everything in town but it can get expensive!


  1. Love the website! Lots of good memories in Framingham – Eb’s, Coyote (not sure if anyone remembers that restaurant, but Michelle & I do!), Shoppers World, the Lechmere Mall…good times 🙂

    Comment by Elaine Line June 21, 2006 @ 3:28 pm

  2. Thank You for the trip down memory lane!!!

    Comment by Mark Galante July 23, 2006 @ 1:41 pm

  3. Wow, this is a great blog, Michelle. I stumbled upon it looking for restaurants in Framingham, as we always wind up going to our favorite few.

    I’m happy to see the 400 club is back, and still great — it’s been years since I’ve been there!

    Keep up the excellent work, you should be the Metrowest Phantom Gourmet!

    Comment by Lisa February 21, 2007 @ 6:12 pm

  4. I love the website, Michelle. I stumbled upon it by accident. Keep up the good work!
    BTW, I was wondering if you knew what was going in at the site of the old Rainbow buffet (formerly Emack and Bolio’s, Tony Roma’s, etc.) I noticed workers there yesterday removing the awnings and signs. I figured that if anyone would be able to get info about it, it would be you.

    Comment by Karen March 4, 2007 @ 10:08 pm

  5. Great web site/blog. Love the memories and heads up on just about everything. Keep up the good work

    Comment by Jerry September 19, 2007 @ 3:39 am

  6. I now live in Framingham and really enjoy the info/commentary you provide here. I too was born at Framingham Union Hospital and grew up in Holliston and have always had family in Framingham. I recently (last week) mentioned to my husband that I’d like to see the Dennison condos and low and behold, you’ve got pictures up. Great work.

    Comment by Debra September 20, 2007 @ 7:17 pm

  7. Great website, I was born at Framingham Union whole family was orginaly from Framingham now no one lives their the website brings back loads of memories. The IOOF Hall picture you recently published that is now a church; that is the Odd Fellows Hall (Independent Order of Odd Fellows) my Grandfather was a member as well as his father I remember going up their when I was 6 and 7 years old that picture brought back a flood of memories!

    Comment by Paul Mitchell November 27, 2007 @ 3:42 pm

  8. Michelle,
    I live in Holliston and work in Framingham at the Public Library and I LOVE your site.
    Can you please consider adding the library’s website, to your list of local links?
    Thanks – keep up the good work.

    Comment by Laraine December 14, 2007 @ 9:12 pm

  9. Found your blog by accident! Love it! Lots of good info, and lots of flashbacks. I nearly died of laughing at the Maurice the Pants Man reference!

    I moved to Sudbury my sophmore year in high school in ’84, so I spent a lot of time at the theaters, malls and of course fun and games. I now live in North Framingham.

    Comment by Mike December 18, 2007 @ 9:39 pm

  10. Great website…400 club pizza was the best I had during my time at Framingham State..What ever happened to the old bank that housed Bambinos?

    Comment by Joe G January 30, 2008 @ 8:30 pm

  11. Great blog. I have lived in Framingham, Natick,Ashland, Sherborn and Hopkinton but no live in another state.

    You have brought back some memories, and I have seen a few fights at the swallow over the years.


    Comment by Chris Swift February 13, 2008 @ 1:45 am

  12. Love this website (and, as a Natick resident, very excited about the new “This Is Metrowest” sister site)! I always get excited when my RSS reader indicates there’s a new entry to look at 🙂

    Since you seem to be very in-the-know about what’s coming and going around here, maybe you can answer this question… There’s a chain of glow-in-the-dark Monster Mini Golf places ( and their website says there’s a new one coming in Framingham/Natick in 2008. Any idea when and where this will be? Have you heard anything about this?

    TIA for any info you might have!

    Comment by Laura G. March 21, 2008 @ 7:59 pm

  13. This site is great! Good memories of Framingham. What ever happened to Marconi’s and Union House? Left Framingham in 1991, so it’s great seeing the pics.


    Comment by Chris LaCounte March 23, 2008 @ 1:59 am

  14. Great website. I was born @ Framingham Union Hospital in 1967. I grew up in framingham and then moved to Southboro. My Dad worked @ Framingham State for 35 years. I havenot been back to framingham since 2003 ,my dad lives in Texas now. You have done a great job on this site. Here a few things I remember growing up. Cabot furniture store was the Chateau Deville, big banquet hall club. In the 80’s it had a few dance/ disco clubs on side of it. Where Trader Joes is now located used to be the Fonda del Corro ( you a have a pic of it on your site) , a motel and restuarant, was Duca’ s restuarant for a little while after that. The Cape Cod resturant was by the old library in framingham center.whatever happened to the Lechmere Mall On rte 30? Also, is Reilly’s Roast beef still open in Nobscot? Anyway really great site. I have it bookmarked.

    Comment by Rob M April 23, 2008 @ 1:07 am

  15. great blog!!! thanks for the fond memories. I live in Arizona now and miss the old Framingham.. .. anyone i know please send me a line

    Comment by John Cannistraro September 5, 2008 @ 8:53 pm

  16. Hi
    Great website! I just stumbled on this by accident. How fabulous! I grew up in Framingham and my family is all in MA.
    I live in San Francisco, but I will pass your blog on to my sisters.

    Comment by Ellen Spencer November 21, 2008 @ 10:49 am

  17. Great blog Michelle.

    I bookmarked it as I’ll be checking it regularly. I love the pizza pictures and reviews (La Cantina is currently my local favorite).


    Comment by James December 21, 2008 @ 1:51 am

  18. Michelle,

    I came across your Blog while looking for some information about Framingham based businesses. Once I came across this blog, I spent the next 1 hour surfing through your posts and totally neglected my original search! In any case, you have a great blog and thanks for taking time to share your experiences and some good info about the town.

    Comment by NGP January 12, 2009 @ 3:58 pm

  19. Hi Michelle: I just noticed that the awful Arby’s is gone from Nobscot and has been replaced by a diner. Know anything about it?

    Comment by Taylor May 27, 2009 @ 6:41 am

  20. Great site – Thanks. Just found your site when looking for info on the future of Fabric Place. I have lived in Downtown (or just out side of it) for many years and appreciate your blog and the information.

    Comment by j. Lang September 17, 2009 @ 7:28 am

  21. Hello! I also grew up in Holliston and now live in Framingham. I find your blog incredibly interesting! I think I must live near you as I can also walk downtown. If you would care to take a walk around town: I would love to join you for a chat.
    Take care,
    Mary Anne

    Comment by Mary Anne Johndrow October 3, 2009 @ 2:55 pm

  22. thanks for a great townie website. i moved here about a year ago from waltham where i was close to moody st. i am always missing the little mom and pop shops of waltham and west newton. thanks for letting me know about so many places in the area.

    Comment by Emily November 28, 2009 @ 4:47 pm

  23. Michelle, I just found you!!! You’re got a GREAT site. Keep up the great work.

    Comment by Roni Cronin January 26, 2010 @ 11:28 pm

  24. One place that has changed surprisingly little in30 years is the Papa Gino’s in the Rt. 30 Mall. Victoria Station, Thje Meadows, and Hanlon’s Shoes are long gone as next door neighbors, and the 70’s juke boxes and salad bar are but mere framed shadows of what once was, but Papa’s store lay-out and glassed corner (that allows you to see your pizza being made in front of you) remains virtually unchanged. The pizza’s still great too!

    Comment by Jim D February 14, 2010 @ 12:59 pm

  25. i have lived in framingham in the 70’s now in marlborough and travel the whole metrowest as i have been living here since the late 50’s. i too liked marconi’s and looking for the receipe for lasagna, which was excellent.

    Comment by steve mabardy April 13, 2010 @ 8:29 am

  26. I was born in & grew up in Framingham … have been working at the same Framingham company for 21 years. I found this blog completely by accident at lunch today. Wanted to thank you *so much* for making my ham & cheese an enjoyable experience today. Thanks for all the time & effort you spend on this Blog – it shows and you’re doing a fantastic job. Best, Linda

    Comment by Linda May 24, 2010 @ 12:49 pm

  27. Hi Michelle, I love your blog ! My husband and I just moved to Framingham with a few months ago and is nice to know a little more about our new town. We love trying local places and this is a nice way to help us finding new places to try.

    Comment by Ana June 25, 2010 @ 4:13 pm

  28. Hey M. Hope all is ok. You are missed already at the club on Franklin St. Keep up the outstanding blog. Go to the Bowditch opening, hopefully see you there

    Comment by H. Boyle October 8, 2010 @ 9:56 pm

  29. I recently found your blog and quite enjoy it! We bought our first home and moved to Framingham a little over a year ago, so it’s nice to read about the local businesses. Have you heard about the new Margaritas opening up?

    Comment by Letitia October 20, 2010 @ 2:23 pm

  30. Just found your site, and am loving it! As someone who has lived in Metrowest forever, I love reading about the history and development in this area (Shoppers World and the old Natick Mall in particular – I wish I could get my hands on that Shopper’s World Documentary). Thank you for taking the time to do this!

    Comment by Jodi Anderson October 22, 2010 @ 1:24 pm

  31. Love the site! I grew up in Holliston, worked at Kennedy’s in Shoppers World, and used to brave that path between SW and Natick Mall! I miss the departed (Shoppers World dome, Marconi’s, Union House, Betinos, and more), but not the snow! Thanks for your posts!

    Comment by Jack Peterson November 15, 2010 @ 4:19 pm

  32. I was offended by the picture of the man with his middle finger up. I was showing my son this site and my home town. He’s only 10. Can you have some class and make it a famly friendly site or is it only for adults?

    Anyone that has to be that crude and vulgar has a low emtional maturity level. Why display that?

    Comment by Barbara December 13, 2010 @ 2:49 pm

  33. Sorry but I can’t change my blog to cater to every reader.
    I was making a point about how out of control the traffic situation is and that picture of what I exepereinced summed it up so I posted it.

    Comment by michelle December 13, 2010 @ 3:23 pm

  34. Great blog, thanks. As I mentioned in another part of the website (? photos of old rte 9 inc. Shopper’s World), I grew up in Millis but my family and I took regular trips out to Natick and Framingham for shopping and entertainment, as did I and my friends in our teen years, and while I attended FSC. Someone mentioned Papa Gino’s, which I entirely forgot about, so add that to my list of memories. 🙂 I’ve been back to the area a couple of times in recent years and it seems to have lost its character … isn’t much different from any other mega-mall-plex.

    Does anyone remember a little restaurant called “The Pizza Pub” (I think that was it), near FSC?

    Comment by Dave February 13, 2011 @ 12:21 pm

  35. I may have a few years on some posters, except for the Kennedys’ employee. A buddy of mine learned how to dress properly from his brother in NYC. So, while all the Hippies were dressing like they slept in the street, I used to wear Ban-Lon shirts that cost $11 back in 1965 that was some money then. Those shirts looked nice, but were tight nit so fabric didn’t breathe, and ran like womens stockings. I remember just bying a new shirt, going to my girlfriends, and was in the house for only a couple of minutes when her cat ran claws down my shirt and ruined it.

    Comment by dave b February 15, 2011 @ 2:49 pm

  36. Hi folks !Me and my family lived in Framingham for four years but now we moved back to our native country, Brazil.
    For sure we always will remember how amazing this town is !!
    God bless the wonderful american people, specially the people of Framingham,where we worked, lived,got friends.
    unforgetable time !!
    Congratulations to you Michelle for this wonderful blog.
    Jose Lorenzutti

    Comment by Jose Lorenzutti March 12, 2011 @ 8:05 am

  37. Thanks for your blog, it’s really helpful to a new resident of the area! 🙂

    Comment by thatguy September 25, 2011 @ 8:35 am

  38. Hi Michelle,

    I have been visiting your blog for a while and want to tell you I love your site!

    It is wonderful that you have compiled a place of all things Framingham and surrounding areas. It’s nice to see reminders of what a great place this was, so many good memories. I like your updates on changes to the area also.

    I grew up in Natick and left Massachusetts in the mid 80’s. There are lots of places I miss especially Shoppers World and the old Natick Mall. So sad to see what they have done to both.

    Keep up the good work!

    Comment by Marie January 21, 2012 @ 9:18 pm

  39. Does anybody have any outstanding memories of the Framingham Mall on rt. 30? I remember it always being extremely vacant, especially after the closure of Lechmere and Filene’s Basement. The place was a ghost town for sure. I think by that point, with the original mall having no future, Target did the right thing by coming to this area and clearing most of it for one of their stores, and also by giving Panera Bread and Payless Shoes new facades. Now it’s a place of bustling actvity, thanks to those revitalization efforts a decade ago.

    Comment by B August 9, 2012 @ 9:02 am

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