Diner News and History

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Sunday, January 4, 2009

At Tops Diner

Tops Diner, © 2009
DinerHistory.com file photo
Updated 1/6/2009.

After a long day of driving in Pennsylvania, it was time to calculate the route home. Along that route, we did stop at a couple of diners in New Jersey and New York.

One of those stops was at Tops. When viewed from the exterior, the diner's pedigree might not be immediately known. Its liberal use of glass block and stainless steel draws from classic diner architecture. Once inside the vestibule the answer was found. Affixed above each doors is a Kullman Industries, Inc. builder tag.

Since they were taking names from the people waiting for a table, we decided to go with take-out. In the waiting area there are pictures of the former Tops Diners, giving you a sense of its long-standing history in the area. Not too long after placing the order, our food was ready and we were back on the road.

We searched our database for other diners named "Tops." Back in June 2005 we visited the old Tops Diner in Schnectady, New York. It didn't look like much had changed as we sat in this mid-1960's diner built by the Fodero Dining Car Company. Though its days were numbered. The diner was demolished around August 2006, when the much larger Tops American Grill opened.

Another diner named Tops was in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. In 2007 we found a postcard being auctioned online. The diner on that postcard looks to be in the style of a diner also built by Fodero. It was located on Walnut & Conemaugh Sts., facing Washington St. We'd like to hear your recollection of this diner, or its whereabouts today.

Article Tools

Tops Diner
500 Passaic Ave.
Harrison, NJ
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We invite you to visit our flickr diner photostream.


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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.

Our email address is staff@dinerhistory.com. A link to contact us by email is under "Contact" located just to the left. We welcome your comments, criticisms, and suggestions.
-Diner News and History staff

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