The Lawrence Welk Diner opened in August, 1951, at 31 First St. SW. It was built by Valentine Diners out of Kansas, and was custom painted to look like an accordion. There were grand plans of a chain of ten of these set to open in Iowa, but this was the only location that ever actually opened. It had eight stools and seating for another 28 at tables. It was steel clad and had a stainless steel and formica interior. It was operated by “Curley” and Helen Paquette. Welk was never directly involved in the running of the diner, but he provided the capital and the branding for the diner. By the end of 1953, the diner was up for sale.
It operated from 1954 through 1960 as Leona’s Diner. In 1960, it became Paul’s Diner, operated by Paul and Carol Lynk and Donna Casebolt. By the end of 1961, it was up for sale again, with the ad saying it was to be moved. It appears that it did not move at this time, and by 1962, it had reopened as, “The Diner”, operated by Ann Mason and Gertrude Oeltjenbruns. After a stint operating as “The Diner”, I can’t find more records of it, at least not at this site.
Does anyone know if it moved? Changed names? Was torn down?