Letterman’s Diner- Kutztown, PA

We stopped here this morning for a second breakfast, a “short” stack of pancakes and a side of bacon for me, an order of eggs, bacon, homefries for my dad. My short stack turned out to be two excellent pancakes the size of platters, which even I couldn’t finish. The bacon was tasty, the coffee fresh, and the grillmanship exciting.

Outside view of the diner. Though an angled front facade has been added, the complete barrel roof is still visible. You can see where the original front sliding door once was.

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Inside view of the diner. Lots of later changes, but the tile work on the counter, the ceiling and the vent hood are original.

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It looks from this period photo, taken after the move, that a white painted flat ceiling was added, preserving the original wood barrel roofed ceiling underneath.
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Original window at the front of the diner. The other window has been removed to make way for a larger front door.

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The ceiling of the diner has this design painted where the seam trim of the ceiling (now missing) meet.
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Dan’s Diner of Spencertown, NY- same design.
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Vent hood
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The owners of the diner say that this is the nation’s oldest Silk City, built in the very early 1930s. Can anyone confirm Silk City as the builder?

Manufacturer of the diner has been confirmed as a O’Mahony.

Compare to this interior photo of Dan’s Diner of Spencertown, NY. Same vent hood, same sliding door (though the Kutztown one’s is gone, it’s visible in the old photos, and the doublewide delete on the wall), and the same ornamentation on the ceiling
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Letterman’s Diner @ Dine Indie

Letterman’s Diner MySpace

Tierney Diner Ad – 1926

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No matter what your present occupation, or where you are located- if you have been seeking YOUR opportunity; if you have been anxious to get into business for yourself- to be your own Boss- or if you are in business and dissatisfied with its results; if you want to make more money than you ever made in your life- if you are willing to work and win success- then a Tierney diner is YOUR opportunity. It’s a clean, respectable PROFITABLE business for YOU- Every day in the year!

You would be one of the most independent men in your community. Your money would be turned over quickly. 30% – 40% of each days receipts would be your NET profit! You would have a strictly cash business. No bad accounts. No collections to make

The Dining Car business is spreading fast. Men like yourself, and with no more experience at the start, are getting rich in it. You can do it, too!

* * *

A Total capital of $3000 ($36,000 in 2009 $) – will set you up in this business- provide the first payment on your car and leave enough to install it on location, open it up and start your daily receipts coming in- and many successful operators have done it on less.

* * *

YOU CAN START
The Dining Car Business in your own town.

The Tierney Real Estate Department checks up your location, or obtains one for you, thus assuring a proper business building location for your car.

We train you for success, just as we have trained hundreds of other operators of Tierney Diners.

You can take advantage of our Training School, if you desire.

Tierney service helps you in all details of operation, providing reliable and experienced chefs, and other employees, if desired, and supervises and guides your management, if needed, until you are sufficiently experienced to assure success by yourself.

no Tierney Dining Car located and operated in accordance with Tierney Service and Instruction need ever fail, for when you purchase a Tierney Diner you get back of you thirty years of successful experience in this business.

* * *

Tierney Service makes Monthly Payment Plan possible. The Lunch Car business is essentially a worker’s business. It has not been built up by capitalists, although it has created capital for its operators- but has won out through the energy and close attention to business of men who with a small amount of money to start with have followed up that moderate capital with an unlimited supply of conscientious, faithful work. That is what makes the Lunch Car business such a sound, dependable business to be engaged in; it is built on foundations of individual industry and common honesty.

“Fully ninety-five per cent of the hundreds who have won success and independence in this business have started with very little money, so the plan had to be devised to help these men get there cars as well as stand by them until they had made a success of the business. In other words, after you have made your first payment down, the car will pay the balance.”

* * *

Wherever you see a Tierney dining car you will find a man who is making money.

* * *

This portable restaurant is delivered on its own wheels to its permanent location, where connections are made for water, sewer, gas or electricity.

* * *

Just the Way they look inside: Tiled floors and walls, stool porcelain, oak tops with nickel rim, counters marble or black walnut. Back of counter complete kitchen, tiled ice box, equipped with most modern type of range, short order stove; steam table, nickeled coffee urns, hot water heater. The last word in brightness and cleanliness.

* * *

If YOU owned a Tierney Dining Car like this, $5000 to $10000 should be your YEARLY PROFITS

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Red Rose Diner

The Red Rose Diner Reopens!

Red Rose Diner in Towanda Borough under new ownership

BY JAMES LOEWENSTEIN
STAFF WRITER
Published: Thursday, April 2, 2009 3:16 AM EDT
TOWANDA — The Red Rose Diner, now a Towanda landmark, is under new ownership.

Michael Holt and Bill O’Shea, both from Buck County, bought the 82-year-old diner on Feb. 18, and they held a grand re-opening of the eatery on Wednesday, Holt said.

Holt said he has expanded the hours of the diner so that it stays open until the early evening on Wednesdays through Saturdays, and plans to add items to the menu.

“We’ll put a flower garden and flower boxes around the building,” he said.

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Holt is a self-described “diner fanatic” who says he spent years looking for an historic diner to buy and operate, before he decided to buy the Red Rose Diner. He said that he visited approximately 50 diners in his quest to find the right one.

He had read about the Red Rose Diner in books on diners, but did not know it was for sale when he visited it for the first time last summer.

He said he was extremely impressed with what he saw.

“I would have offered to buy it,” Holt said. “I liked it that much. (But) it turned out it was for sale (anyway).”

Holt said he and O’Shea will keep the name “Red Rose Diner,” and have no plans to move the diner from Towanda.

“I love that it’s on Route 6,” he said. “We were fortunate enough to find that it’s in a really special town. We’ll never move it.”

Betty Roof will continue to work at the diner, and she will be doing most of the cooking, Holt said.

“Most of the original features of the diner are still here,” including the stools, marble tabletops and counter tops, mosaic tile floor, stained glass windows, the tile and oak on the interior walls, grill, refrigerator and telephone, Holt said. “It’s an absolute gem in that respect.”

The previous owner, Gordon Tindall, had bought the diner in 1998 and restored it in Lancaster County. Tindall then moved the diner to Towanda, where it opened for business several years ago.

Holt said that last summer, he had talked to George Metropoulos Jr., the 92-year-old son of the original owner of the diner, who had seen the diner after it was restored.

Metropoulos, who used to work at the diner himself, said “the diner looked exactly the way he remembered it,” according to Holt.

Holt said he is applying to have the Red Rose Diner listed on the National Register of Historic Places, partly because of its role in expanding diners to accommodate women.

According to a written statement on the diner’s menu, “it was the first model designed to entice women (to come to the diner). The little tables were added for the ladies and stained glass windows afforded female customers privacy from oglers out on the sidewalk.”

Holt said he has an interest in things that are historic. He said he served on the board of directors of Peddler’s Village in Bucks County, which is “like a little Colonial Williamsburg,” including restored buildings and buildings that were constructed to look historic.

“I’ve always been in the hospitality and restaurant business,” said Holt, who now lives in Towanda.

The Red Rose Diner is located at 526 Main St. in Towanda.

James Loewenstein can be reached at (570) 265-1633; or e-mail: jloewenstein@thedailyreview.com.

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