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Monday, March 16, 2009

In the News - Former Chuck Wagon Diner

P8180053G-The Salem Diner
Photo by flickr pro mountain_man_ny_2
and appears here under Creative Commons
Today's Daily Gazette reports on the progress to restore and reassemble the diner's iconic neon sign.

As seen in the picture, the sign once served as a beacon to travelers along South Neil Street in Champaign, Illinois. In 1976 the diner closed and this 1956 Mountain View Diner built diner was moved to several other locations in Illinois.

Though it wasn't until late November 2007 that Tom Ketchum brought the diner to Princeton, New York. The diner's restoration has been chronicled in mountain_man_ny_2's flickr photostream.

We'll post more information about the diner and its restoration as it becomes available.


Erin Dorbin May 17, 2009 at 5:07 PM  

Wanted to let you know that I have an audio documentary on the Chuck Wagon Diner restoration project available at my blog: http://twojerks.blogspot.com. Enjoy!

Williepitt June 1, 2009 at 10:45 AM  

I've been following the restoration of this diner with great interest. I was a graduate student at the University of Illinois in the late 1950's, when this diner was the first Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise in the state, and I ate there many times. KFC was really good then!

Now I live in Schenectady, NY, not far from Princetown (note spelling) where the diner is being revived. My wife and I went to look at it a few days ago. The new owner thinks he can have it operating in late summer or early fall, and my wife agrees. I'm not so sure, but we'll see.

  July 20, 2009 at 11:14 AM  

Thank you both for your updated information. Please keep us up to date on its progress.
-DNH staff

Doug Bernstein August 23, 2009 at 10:43 AM  

Does anyone know how to contact Tom Ketchum, the new owner of the Chuck Wagon? I lived in Champaign for 30 years and ate at the CW, as we called it, several times a week in the 1970s. I have an original dinner plate and coffee cup from the diner and I would like to make a gift of them and see them re-united with the diner next spring when I plan to visit the area.

Williepitt August 23, 2009 at 10:57 AM  

Doug, here's the contact information on Tom Ketchum:

655 Western Tpke
Duanesburg, NY 12056-3801

(518) 356-7902.

Doug Bernstein August 24, 2009 at 9:19 AM  

Thanks to Williepitt for that information!

Anonymous,  April 26, 2010 at 10:00 PM  

Thought you'd like to know that the Chuck Wagon Diner will be opening for business tomorrow (4/27). It will be, as Tommy puts it, a soft opening and when he's sure that all is working well, he'll be having a grand opening. Long time coming, but we all wish him well. See you at the Chuck Wagon!

Anonymous April 27, 2010 at 12:14 AM  

It has been a little over a year since we originally wrote the article. Thank you to everyone posting and keeping us updated. We hope to see you all at the diner.
-DN&H staff

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