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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Mickey's Diner - St. Paul, MN

It was on this date in 1983, that Mickey's was added to the National Register of Historic Places. The diner was built by O'Mahony and arrived in 1937*. Keith Walker, owner of the Road Island Diner, sent us some information about the diner. Mickey's is fifty feet long by ten feet wide and is serial number 1067.

flickr has many images of the diner. We've selected a few to include in our post as we highlight some of Mickey's features.


Mickey's Diner
Photo by flickr pro cliff1066 and appears
here under Creative Commons
The diner's streamline exterior features stainless steel and porcelain enamel panels. "Mickey's Diner" was lettered in an Art Deco style typeface below the windows. Monitor roofs were popular in diner architecture. That's one feature people associated with train cars and travel, so it was incorporated into diners. Notice the mechanism that opens the orange and white stained glass clerestory windows. These are almost the same style glass used in the Fegely's Reading Diner.


Photo by flickr pro Klaus M and appears
here under Creative Commons

Several aspects of the diner are shown in this picture. Notice the interior walls with horizontal striping, which is reminiscent of the tiled walls and stripe used in the O'Mahony Monarch models. The mosaic ceramic tile floor, counter stool tops, pedestal and base are also visible. Notice the turquoise blue box at the end of the diner, towards the top of the ceiling. It reminds us of Seeburg speakers we've seen in other diners, like the Blue Moon Diner, a Worcester Diner, in Gardner, Massachusetts.

Mickey's Diner
Photo by flickr pro timbu and
appears here under Creative
A pre-requisite for an authentic diner experience includes some cooking being done behind the counter. In the smaller diners, this is usually an owner or family member working the grill. See the well worn counter top--it could speak volumes about the people dining there over the years. Above the cook, on the hood is a triple panel bill of fare. The opposite end of the hood has another one mounted there too.

Mickey's Diner
Photo by flickr pro timbu and
appears here under Creative
At only ten feet wide, there's not enough room for a row of tables opposite the stools. This picture highlights the mahogany trim detail around the windows. Above the windows notice the curvature of the roof and its rose clored Formica-like panels.

Being listed as a historic place is not a guarantee. Time will only tell if Mickey's is around for another seventy years.

Article Tools

Mickey's Diner
36 W. 7th Street
St. Paul MN
View Map / Send to GPS*

We invite you to visit our flickr diner photostream.

* Conflicting Internet references are found in regards to the manufacture date of Mickey's. Their website says, "St. Paul's 24 hour host since 1939." Wikipedia states the diner was built in 1937. Given that the serial number for Mickey's is #1067, and the Road Island Diner's is #1107, it's possible 40 diners were built in 1939. Even the Minnesota Historical Society lists the range of 1937 to 1939 for manufacture date. This is something we'll look into further.


Nick Klaus March 3, 2009 at 1:59 AM  

Excellent post! Thanks for the link-back

Anonymous March 4, 2009 at 5:43 PM  

Thank you for writing. We're glad you enjoyed our article. Next time we are in the area, we'll visit Mickey's.
-Diner News and History staff

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