Overlea Diner – Baltimore, MD

From the Duke University OAAA collection.



This ’30s Kullman challenger burned down and was replaced with a 1992 Musi, located at 6652 Belair Road, Baltimore, MD


The overlea




The original Overlea

The Overlea Diner, for me, is one of the high points of the last generation of diner building Design-wise, it looks original, like something that would roll out of a New Jersey builder in the mid 1950s. It isn’t wildly over the top, in scale or detail. It doesn’t seat hundreds. It isn’t mirror finished with a two story glass brick vestibule. It isn’t “retro”, it isn’t “nostalgic” it just is what it is, and leaves it at that.

The current diner bearing the Overlea name was built in 1992 by Musi. It replaced a prewar diner, which can be seen in the postcard. Going from photos hanging in the diner (which unfortunately I did not have a chance to photograph), the diner was entirely encased at some point, making it all but unrecognizable for what it was.
It burned down and was replaced by what you see today. The floor-plan is somewhat unusual, with the kitchen on the right hand side of the diner, the counter on the left and a brick dining room off the back. It burned, and was replaced by the stainless model currently gracing the lot.


5 thoughts on “Overlea Diner – Baltimore, MD

  1. The old Paramount Theatre was reduced to playing Grindhouse/porn in the ’70’s. It later became the Hacienda restaurant. That is defunct now as well, but the sign is still there.

    • The Paramount is now an office building. The theater your referring to was the Earle, also on Belair Rd. at Woodlea Ave.. The Hacienda was across the street.

    • You are incorrect about the Paramount Theater becoming a porn theater, and becoming the Hacienda. The porn theater was the Earle about 10 blocks south, and the Hacienda was a separate building across Belair Rd. from the Earle. Same block as the Woodlea Bakery. The Earle is now a church, and the Hacienda building is gone, Enterprise Rent-a-Car is in that space.

      • Before it became hacienda it was dimitris. A band called the crystals played there frequently. I metmy husband there and in 1963 got married to him. We are still together & celebrated 0ur 52nd anniversary. Great times at the night club

  2. I went to the Paramount many times in the 60s. Saw the Beatle movies there and I think the last one I saw was Planet of the Apes. Ate next door at the diner a couple of times..food OK but kind of neat place to eat. I walked there from my Mom’s place on Kenwood ave near the high School. Worked in S. Jersey in the late 80s and got to sample a lot of diner food. Love the classic Silk Cities.

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