Duff’s Diner No. 2 opened in 1951. It was built at a cost of $135,000.00 and featured a large dining room with nightly live organ music. By 1960, Mr. and Mrs. M.T. Duff sold the diner to Joseph and Evelyn Allen. In 1963, the Allens opened Duff’s Rebel Restaurant across town. They continued running the two establishments, along with a motel until 1983, when they sold the Rebel Restaurant to Charles and Fong Caldwell. The diner, by that point known as Duff’s Restaurant, continued operation until around 1985. Between 1985, it was occupied by Yam’s Rickshaw Lounge, the Silver Leaf Restaurant, Yam’s Fusion Buffet, Chrisana’s Thai Restaurant and Asian Market, and Dirty Harry’s Sports Bar and Grill. As of 2012, it is operating as the Winchester Diner.
When it was Duff’s, it also served Kentucky Fried Chicken, going back as far as c.1954, while it was still under the ownership of the Duffs. The Allens owned several KFC locations in the Front Royal and Winchester area, and advertised it at both the Rebel Restaurant and this location. Take a look at the former Kentucky Fried Chicken vestibule-top sign.
Pictures of the interior reveal absolutely nothing of its diner heritage remaining other than the footprint. Was it rebuilt in the ’70s? Was the diner remodeled so many times over the years by the multitude of businesses that have called it home that there’s nothing recognizable? Either way, there’s nothing really left to see.
The former Duff’s Diner is located at 2655 Valley Avenue Winchester VA.