The Lawrence Welk Diner – Mason City, Iowa


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?


8 thoughts on “The Lawrence Welk Diner – Mason City, Iowa

  1. Pingback: Lawrence Welk thought about going into hamburgers « Accordion Uprising

  2. This was torn down years ago when the South Vridge Mall was built along with the old Fire Station a few doors east of there. I worked out of that station bck in 1967-1973 and the diner was there as we ordered dinners there and “Ma” would bring them to us and pick up the dishes the next day. Should have been rescued as it was a much classy then the Suzi Q on the north side.

  3. Leona’s was actually owned and run by Leona Hazlett who also used to run the cafeteria at the Jacob E Decker’s plant as well. She was legendary for her pie making skills.

  4. The Suzi-Q diner located in Mason City is up for sale. Not as lassy as the Lawrerance Welk that was still here in the early 70’s before the South Bridge Mall

  5. Pingback: Suzie Q’s Diner – Photo Effusion

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