Diner News and History

A blog about diners and other things encountered along the way.
The Present

From our twitter stream. . .

Monday, March 16, 2009

In the News - Doc's Little Gem Diner

Online there are two articles about the closure in the Post-Standard. Yesterday's article looks at the history of the diner. Today's is a short three sentence mention that closure looks certain.

We'll post more information here as it becomes available.


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.


Sunday, March 15, 2009

In the News - Floyd's Diner

This piece of information just came across our desks. Anthony Clark's article in the Gainesville Sun reports Floyd's Diner has been sold.

It's a one sentence mention and we'll post it here.

"Instead, he closed the deal Monday for Floyd’s Diner in High Springs to go to a Michigan family that owns three diners there."
We instantly thought of Jonelle and Randy Roest, owners of Rosie's. Agilitynut's website has a listing and pictures of the diners at "Dinerland" in Rockford, Michigan.

We'll post more information here as it becomes available.


Saturday, March 14, 2009

In the News - Salem Diner

P8180053G-The Salem Diner
Photo by flickr pro galfred
and appears here under Creative Commons
The Salem Diner in Salem, Massachusetts was one of the area restaurants featured in NECN.com's headline story. Colleges and Universities in the North Shore region of Massachusetts have a program where a student may purchase meals from off campus restaurants.

Zoe Elefteriadis, owner of the Salem Diner talks about the program's positive impact on their business. An interior view of the diner may be seen in the video here.

Article Tools

Salem Diner
70 Loring Ave.
Salem, MA
View Map / Send to GPS*

We invite you to visit our flickr diner photostream.


Thursday, March 12, 2009

Modern Theatre - Boston, MA

modern theatre
Photo by flickr pro zoezolka and
appears here under Creative Commons
The Suffolk Journal has a mention of Suffolk University's current building project. The University is in the process of disassembling the Modern Theatre's facade and constructing a new building. In its place a multipurpose building will be built, including student housing, a gallery, and a theatre. This website has more about the project.

According to the Cinema Treasures website, the Modern Theatre opened in 1914 and for almost three decades.

Although the Modern Theatre was included in the "Washington Street Theatre District," which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in March of 1979, that didn't guarantee its survival. However, the facade will live on. After a restoration it will be put back into place on the new building.

Article Tools

We invite you to visit our flickr diner photostream.


In the News - Gracie's Diner

Wednesday took the morning viewers of WFXT Fox 25 to Webster, Massachusetts. During the segment, Doug "VB" Goudie "Diner Wednesday" talked with Paul and Lisa Fennuchio. This past October marked the third year of ownership for this husband and wife team.

The entire video may be seen here.

Article Tools

Gracie's Diner
595 S. Main St.
Webster, MA
View Map / Send to GPS*

We invite you to visit our flickr diner photostream.


Monday, March 9, 2009

In the News - Former Wirebridge Diner

Larry Garard of the Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel wrote about the latest use for the Worcester Lunch Car Company diner. Formerly operating as the Wirebridge Diner, it appeared to be closed during our Maine road trip in 2005.

According to Mr. Garard's article, Philip Robinson purchased the building and renamed it "Robinson's General Store." In this transition, we aren't sure what has changed compared to the renovations we noted during our visit. Next time we are in the area we'll stop in and post a full report.

Article Tools

We invite you to visit our flickr diner photostream.


Sunday, March 8, 2009

New Site

We have created an archives site for all our posts that don't appear on this page. If you would like access, please email us at staff@dinerhistory.com. Just as any newspaper online, library or institution with archives would require you to sign in, or be a member, so will this new site. We thank you in advance for your understanding.


Winter Diner Picture

Chelsea Royal Diner 01
Photo by flickr pro Tom Hilton and
appears here under Creative Commons
As we await the first day of spring, here's one last picture of a diner taken during the New England winter of 2009.

The diner was built by the Worcester Lunch Car Company and delivered in 1939.

Article Tools

Chelsea Royal Diner
487 Marlboro Rd.
West Brattleboro, VT
View Map / Send to GPS*

We invite you to visit our flickr diner photostream.


A Look Back on March 8th

We have nothing on file for this day in history. If you know of something diner related happening on this day, please contact us.

Article Tools

We invite you to visit our flickr diner photostream.


Saturday, March 7, 2009

Weekend Roundup

Time period covered 3/1/2009-3/7/2009

The Weekend Roundup feature draws from some of our postings during this past week. It's purpose is a quick summary and one area of the blog where we usually don't include map links or pictures. At times we may include other items here not making the blog that may be of interest to our readers. We'd like to hear your comments or suggestions.

In this issue

Weekly Summary
Garmin Communicator Update
Farmington Diner
Massachusetts State Quarter Poll Results
Diner News and History Website Happenings

Weekly Summary

This week saw the closing of one diner--Betty's. We noted the closure here.

Otherwise, there were no news reports of any classic diners being demolished, constructed, installed, or moved. Please let us know if we've missed something diner related happening this past week.

Connecticut Post writer Tony Spinelli wrote an article about the renovation going on at the Valley Diner. Here's a link to our article reflecting on the changes to the diner.

Garmin Communicator Update

Garmin recently released an update to their browser plug-in. For those not familiar with the software, here's a brief overview. Garmin wrote a piece of software that lets your web browser send to and receive information from your Garmin GPS unit.

You may notice at the end of our articles under "Article Tools" we include the address information for diners. The line View Map / Send to GPS is a link which takes you to Google Maps. If you have the software installed and your GPS device plugged in and powered on, one of the options on the Google Map screen will be to send the information to your GPS. With the ubiquity of GPS receivers in automobiles, having this browser plug-in allows you to quickly and easily find the diner.

Download the Garmin Communicator update version here.

Farmington Diner

Another article was published online about the diner. Betty Jespersen's article in the Friday's edition Kennebec Journal Morning Sentinel mentions plans which sound like those of the former Big Dig Diner. Rachel Jackson-Hodsdon envisions a place to train people for the food service industry. If this is a project you'd like to be involved in, we suggest you contact Ms. Jackson-Hodsdon. See our blog entry from February 19th for further information.

Massachusetts State Quarter Poll Results

The results are in and none of the diners received enough votes. Read the press release about from the governor's office. Here's a link to our article from February 14th about the poll.

Diner News and History Website Happenings

Our work continues on creating individual diner pages. We encourage you to visit our page "Diner Listing By State." Clicking on the state will take you to another page listing some of the diners we've mentioned. Let us know what type of information you would like to see appear on the diner's individual page. If there's a missing diner or information that you would like to fill in or correct, please leave a comment on the page or email us.

Diners for sale

We continue to get a good response to our post mentioning the buyadiner.com site. If you are interested in purchasing a diner, buyadiner.com just might have one for you. We are always interested in hearing about other diners that are for sale.

Additions / Deletions

The following diners were added to our diner database.

Charley's Diner*
Philadelphia, PA
-source was an online matchbook auction.

Dalt's Court Street Diner
Athens, OH

New City Diners "American Beauty"
Bardonia, NY
-found on their website

New City Diners "American Traveller"*
-According to their website, this location is still in the works for somewhere in New Jersey.

Ramoco Grill Diner
Ramsey, NJ
-source was an online postcard auction.

Our Second Poll Question

We aren't sure if our readers are aware of another feature of the Diner News and History site. Google Maps is where we are creating an online diner map. We usually add diners and other points of interest as we mention them on this site. Here is a link our Google Diner Map. If you notice a manufactured diner missing from the map, why not let us know and we'll add it. Better yet, why not join us in maintaining this map? Email us for more information.

Article Tools

We invite you to visit our flickr diner photostream.

(*) This diner was added provisionally pending further investigation. If you have any information on them please write us.


Friday, March 6, 2009

New Diner Planned for Boston

Market Diner
Photo by flickr pro Doug Letterman and
appears here under Creative Commons
In the news today is the Boston Herald article by Donna Goodison. According to her article, Continental Concepts has a 225-seat restaurant on the drawing board. It's expected to open in Boston, Massachusetts in the 2010 time frame.

While it won't be a factory manufactured diner, it will include elements reminiscent of a 1960's diner. The 1960's are included in what's referred to as the "space age" era. Optimism of the time was reflected in the design of diners. Manufacturers included very large overhanging roofs with recessed lighting and zig-zag roof lines. Pictured above and to the right is the Market Diner in New York City. It was built in 1964 by DeRaffele Manufacturing Company, Inc. in nearby New Rochelle. The diner reopened in December of 2008.

Earlier in the week we wrote about another article mentioning Richard J. S. Gutman. Continental Concepts has retained the services of Mr. Gutman in their design of the Continental Diner. This isn't the first time Mr. Gutman has been involved in restaurant design. Several years ago he consulted with Silver Diner Development, Inc., on the design of their diners. In January Bulletin Newspapers published Scott Wachtler's in depth interview with Mr. Gutman. That article includes a picture of his kitchen with a Worcester Lunch Car Company inspired counter. Mr. Wachtler's entire article may be read here.

We'll follow this story as it develops.

Article Tools

Market Diner
572 11th Avenue
New York, NY
View Map / Send to GPS*

We invite you to visit our flickr diner photostream.


Thursday, March 5, 2009

In the News - Victory Diner

It was in August of 2007 that the Victory Diner left its Richmond Road home. The diner has since been in storage at a parks department office near Father Capadanno Boulevard on Staten Island, New York. Back then it was thought the diner would reopen spring 2009.

Bree Driscoll with NY1 reported the diner will be part of a $10 million project at Midland Beach. If things go as planned, they could get started during the summer and be complete about a year later. We'll post more information as it becomes available.

Article Tools

We invite you to visit our flickr diner photostream.


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

In the News - KJ's Airport Diner

WFXT Fox 25 brought their "Diner Wednesday" morning segment to this Worcester Lunch Car Company built diner in Shirley, Massachusetts. A short video has been posted online.

Article Tools

KJ's Airport Diner
108 Lancaster Rd.
Shirley, MA
View Map / Send to GPS*

We invite you to visit our flickr diner photostream.


In the News - Diner Exhibit

We last visited the museum about a month ago. It was the opening of Becky Haletky's exhibit entitled, "Time to Eat." Today Gwenn Friss wrote an article about the permanent exhibit, "Diners: Still Cookin' in the 21st Century" on display at the Johnson & Wales Culinary Archives & Museum. We thought our readers would like to know more about the exhibit.

As you step through this Kullman Industries, Inc. designed and manufactured entrance, you embark upon your journey through diner history.

Richard J. S. Gutman drew upon the past forty years (and more) of researching, photographing, restoring, and authoring numerous books about diners. As you walk through the exhibit, you will see items from his extensive collection on display. It wouldn't be considered a static display, as the exhibit is refreshed throughout the year. The exhibit is "interactive" as there are photographs, video, an actual diner restoration in process, and guides available to answer your questions.

Ever Ready Diner,
© 2008 DinerHistory.com file photo
Speaking of the restoration, let's take a look at the diner on display. It was built in 1926 by the Worcester Lunch Car Company in Worcester, Massachusetts. Over the years the diner evolved and was renovated. It last operated a short distance from the museum, as the Ever Ready Diner in downtown Providence, Rhode Island. During our June 2008 visit, the museum staff graciously talked with us in detail about the restoration. Not too long before we took this picture, the stained glass was installed above the windows.

One of the first things you might notice when looking inside the diner is the hood over the cooking area. It's a stainless steel hood similar to those seen in some late 1940's/early 1950's Worcesters. On the ceiling steel strips frame the sand and red Formica sheets. That Formica pattern is similar to the style used in the Peterboro.

Perhaps what caught your eye first was the diner's floor? In some 1920's diners, we've seen a foot rail installed. With the Ever Ready, a tiled foot rest was constructed and covers the floor's mosaic tile border. If you've ever visited the Deluxe Diner in Rumford, Maine, you'll instantly recognize the same floor tile pattern. We noticed some of the missing ceramic hexagon floor tiles had been replaced. Atop the foot rest the tile is arranged in a pattern similar to that of the Fish Tale.

We encourage you to visit the museum and view the exhibits. More work remains to be done on the Ever Ready to bring the it back to the way it was. If you would like to be part of this restoration, we encourage you contact the museum.

Article Tools

Diners: Still Cookin' in the 21st Century
Johnson & Wales Culinary Culinary Archives & Museum
315 Harborside Blvd.
Providence, RI
View Map / Send to GPS*
(401) 598-2805
Hours: Tuesday through Sunday 10AM-5PM

We invite you to visit our flickr diner photostream.


Monday, March 2, 2009

In the News - Valley Diner

Valley Diner,
© 2007 DinerHistory.com
file photo
During the Connecticut leg of a 2007 diner road trip we stopped at many Swingle Diner Company built diners. For this comparison, we'll mention the Bridgeport Flyer in Milford, CT, Penny's III in East Norwalk, CT, and the Valley Diner in Derby, CT. All three had environmental exteriors including large stones and terracotta tile awning / roof lines. The Valley also included hints of wood and brick. Pictured at right is how the Valley looked like in November 2007.

You can see some of the work being done in two lane blacktop's flickr photo October 2008. The exterior siding above and below the windows had been removed. Notice the right side of the new and larger vestibule taking shape. The forms for the new concrete steps were in place.

In today's Connecticut Post, Tony Spinelli gives us an update on the progress of DeRaffele's renovations. According to the article, they expect things will be completed by next month. The article also includes a series of photographs. You've seen our picture and compared it to two lane blacktop's. Take a look at the fourth picture in Mr. Spinelli's article. While a dramatic change, it draws elements from its prior environmental roots. It's also a departure from the chrome, neon, and tile exteriors DeRaffele used in diners like the Athenian III in Milford, and the Blue Colony Diner Restaurant in Newtown, CT.

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

Article Tools

Valley Diner Restaurant
636 New Haven Ave.
Derby, CT
View Map / Send to GPS*

We invite you to visit our flickr diner photostream.


Sunday, March 1, 2009

Diners on TV

KJ's Airport Diner on "Diner Wednesday."

3/20/2009, 3/21/2009, 3/22/2009
Food Network's "Al Roker's Diner Destinations"
Check your local listings for times.

We'll post information here throughout the month.


In the News - Betty's Diner

According to Montanette Murphy of the Utica Observer-Dispatch, Betty's Diner in Marcy, New York has closed. Dave and Tammy Riker, owners of the diner have decided to move on.

Betty's is a 1951 Silk City Diner which we last visited back in 2005, the year the Riker's purchased the diner.

Diner Exhibit Diner Exhibit Diners: Still Cookin' in the 21st Century Culinary Archives & Museum at Johnson & Wales University
315 Harborside Blvd. Providence, RI View Map / Send to GPS*
Chuck Wagon Diner Chuck Wagon Diner Chuck Wagon Diner
655 Western Tpke. Duanesburg, NY View Map / Send to GPS*
Road Island Diner Road Island Diner Road Island Diner website
981 Weber Canyon Rd. Oakley, UT View Map / Send to GPS*
Tin Man Diner Tin Man Diner 70 County Rd. North Falmouth, MA View Map / Send to GPS*


My photo
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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