Diner News and History

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Sunday, December 7, 2008

O'Rourke's Diner Television Appearance

The Middletown, Connecticut diner appeared in episode DV0504, "Places You Sent Me" on Food Network's show, "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives." During the video Guy Fieri talks with owner Brian O'Rourke, and we find out his food service career began in 1958. Later, Brian mentions he bought the diner in 1976.YouTube video from mfuggi
According to Jesse Overall's article in the Wesleyan Argus, Brian and cousin John Sweeney O'Rourke bought the diner from his uncle John R. O'Rourke. In 1985 Brian bought out his cousin's share of the diner.

Watch the video as Brian cooks up some of his signature dishes, including Banana Bread French Toast, topped with Banana's O'Rourke, Duck Hash, and a steamed cheeseburger. Ironically it was a steamed cheeseburger machine left on overnight which caused the fire on August 31, 2006.

O'Rourke's Diner,
© 2006 DinerHistory.com file photo
As a testament to community involvement, donations for rebuilding this 1940's Mountain View diner came in many forms. Wesleyan University was a generous supporter in the rebuilding process. Brian even worked part-time at their on campus Wes Wings restaurant.

After being closed for roughly seventeen months, the diner reopened for breakfast on February 11, 2008. It is part of the Main Street Historic District, which was listed in 1983 with the National Register of Historic Places.

The entire Diners, Drive-ins and Dives episode may be seen again on December 21, 2008 at 3:00 PM ET/PT.

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O’Rourke’s Diner
728 Main St.
Middletown, CT
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Whether you appreciate diner history, the architecture, or its contribution to American culture and the food service industry, this site will be a unique resource for you. This blog is part history, current news, road trips, and our staff's insightful commentary. We thank you for visiting and encourage you to join in, sharing your own diner adventures.

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