The History of the Summit Diner of Somerset, PA

Review of The History of the Summit Diner of Somerset, PA

Diner fans and those used to driving the Pennsylvania turnpike should enjoy this self-published booklet and labor of love by D.A. Florence, a.k.a. “Diner Dave”.
The 80 page book takes the reader on a trip down memory lane, recounting the history and the personalities behind this 1960 Somerset dining institution. Florence is a true fan of the Summit, and devotes a good deal of space to the folks who made, and still make this diner a pleasure to visit. The book is generously illustrated with archival photos, as well as many from the author’s own collection.
“Diner Dave” also includes a bit of general diner history, as well as local facts related to the Summit’s place in Somerset lore. The book also includes a thorough bibliography that will serve as a good starting reference for those just developing an interest in the joys of roadside dining.
All in all, this is one diner fanciers extended love letter to his favorite establishment. As Florence sums up in a line from a self penned poem at the book’s closing-
“….hold your heads high at the Summit Diner.
As their motto says, “There’s no place finer.”

Photos from a book signing at the Summit, showing the most recent interior renovation.

Review written by Michael G. Stewart, photographer


8 thoughts on “The History of the Summit Diner of Somerset, PA

  1. Reply to question from Mark Hulings: Yes, the diner is still running. Although it’s already been on a long-distance trek – July 11, 2010 marks its 50th anniversary, hope is that many will enjoy it for years to come.

  2. I can’t wait!! Just over two weeks and I’ll be having a rootbeer float at the diner! (it’s been 9yrs since I’ve been back). I went to visit my grandmother every summer in PA, and we always went to the diner while the clothes were washing at the laundry mat 🙂 Happy 5oth Summit!!

  3. My wife and I were married 40 years ago on Nov 8, 1973 in Somerset Pa. At that time the Diner was one of few places to eat. We spent many hours there waiting on our laundry next door. On a recent trip we were happy too see a familiar sight and we dropped in for lunch.
    After all these years the food and service were great.
    Thanks for the memories.
    Ken Kennemer
    Double Oak, Tx

  4. First visited the place while visiting some kin (with my late mother and father) in Somerset during 2003 when I returned from a deployment. Loved the breakfast! Went back up from Alabama to visit the same cousins in 2011 and made a point to go to the Summit again. Highly recommended!

  5. Stopped there on our way home from the nearby State Parks. The sandwiches and pies were great and the coffee decent; the prices are reasonable. I’ll stop again the next time I’m in the area.

  6. I have been going to the Summit Diner for over 30 years. The food is great and the coffee is the best. My late son would make the two hour trek with new girlfriends just to show them the diner he loved. I would recommend it to anyone. Just as good as the Venus Diner in Gibsonia, Pa. that closed in 2006. The desserts are fantastic!!!

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