While we’re on the topic of the Summit Diner, here are some photos, mainly of the interior, from the past six years.
July 2004- more or less as it came from the factory, with 40+ years of wear.
Jan 2007- ceiling beams painted black, some reupholstered stools
2007- original wallpaper on far back wall. Fits with the colonial/western interior theme
Jan 2008- new stools, new counters, formica replaced with diamondplate or quilted stainless, clock covered over with stainless and retro coca cola clock. Doors to kitchen replaced with stainless. Wagon wheel light fixtures replaced with stainless.
Jan 2008 – middle row of booths removed, replaced with retro boomerang formica topped tables. Back wall with original wallpaper painted over black, copies of magazines mentioning diner framed. Formica replaced with diamond plate aluminum or stainless. Woodwork painted black.
I liked the original Swingle styling better. And I don’t like Swingle.
I wonder if we will ever see a request like this: “I am restoring a Swingle diner. Where can I get some wagon wheel light fixtures?”
Yeah- that’s what happens when you try to make something “more authentic”. It never works as well as the real thing, and all too often the real thing is destroyed in the process.
I like the transitional styling of the Summit. Still space age on the outside with a bizarre mix of futuristic and anti-modern on the inside. I suppose that’s appropriate for when it was built, the era of tv westerns and of the space race.
I’m generally not a huge fan of environmental- style diners, but I think they have more charm than the huge mid-late ’90s-’00s stainless ones. Maybe one day they’ll have a resurgence in popularity, but somehow I doubt it. People seem to like ’50s diners because they’re associated with the era, or at least with the false nostalgic re-write of the era. The ’60s and ’70s ones just don’t have the same connection for people.
I hope the copper clock was just covered over and not entirely scrapped. I think it’s a neat detail.
I have worked and loitered (on and off) at the Diner since I was 15. I will say that the old diner is greatly missed by myself and the rest of the Summit Rats and though the look is gone, the atmosphere is still there.
It is funny that a lot of people are sad about the face lift, but as a worker there business has improved greatly! We have more people walk in and ACTUALLY sit and eat. While previously they would look around and leave.
Now, about the wagon wheel lights. The owner actually still has them (even though they are out in a Somerset County field somewhere) Also, I myself snagged one for my sister and it still looks great.
Last, the copper clock. I am sad to say that the clock was scrapped and is probably in a land fill/junk yard somewhere. Sorry.. : (
I guess you search the diner in your spare time too…
I am fortunate enough to visit Somerset once or twice a year and I very much look forward to eating at the Summit Diner. We usually have breakfast there and it is always good and we love the atmosphere. I was just there September 12th and love the new pictures painted on the walls. The waitress’ are so nice and the service very fast but the coffee is terrible. It is not much more that brown water. Doesn’t anyone complain about the dreadful coffee. A good cup of coffee would make that diner just about perfect!
I’ve actually worked at the Diner since Summer ’07 and every semester break since then while I’ve been in college. I’m glad you like it! …. BELIEVE me after talking to people who have worked there forever the past few years have been the best years for the diner. Mostly everyone gets along… and everyone is friendly. A BIG step up from years past where the diner was known for drugs. I love working at the diner when I go home from college. There is no place like it.
Even though the old decor may have been nice… the new is clean!!!!!!!!
Anyway… it’s so funny you mention the coffee…
It may be because they work there, but mostly everyone on staff says that the diner’s coffee is there favorite! lol And we have regular coffee drinkers at everyday.
Since I now am a coffee lover, in my last year of college… I would have to agree that the diner’s isn’t the greatest (I like my coffee strong), but I think its part of us. (~:
The Summit Diner definitely isn’t what it used to be, and that’s not necessarily a good thing. I miss the good old days before the decor was changed, and the 24/7 service ended. Though Eat ‘n Park is open around the clock, it just doesn’t offer that “diner” experience. Like they say…’if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’!
I’ll be at the Summit Diner this Saturday. It’s been a couple of years since I was there last. Looking forward to the trip.
I’m on an epic road trip, and it’s been full of surprises. The latest is that I find myself parked for the night on Main Street in Somerset, waiting for The Summit to open for breakfast in the morning. I’ll be thinking of you!
I remember the summit and how it looked way back when with the jukeboxes on every table and you could put money in them and listen to your own songs,, I miss the old diner bad but the new look is awesome as well. The new owner did a great job.
HOME OF ESTER SUES HOME MADE PIES!
i remember the day watching as they brought the diner in by trailer. that was amazing. and to think it’s still there & operating.
My brother, cousin and I stopped at the Summit Diner for lunch in March 2013 after a somber morning at the Flight 93 Memorial. The service was great, and the food delicious. More importantly, the waitress and patrons shared their memories of that sad day, 9/11/01.. I bought a mug before I left and it was my favorite coffee mug. Unfortunately, my wife broke it while doing dishes last week. I would love to have a replacement. Does anyone know if I can order one on-line?