The diner at Tannersville was unfortunately closed when these pictures were taken. It’s nicely preserved and a rare model. It’s located in Tannersville, PA.
More old diner photos. Every time I turn around I seem to find more diners I haven’t published here yet. These photos were taken c.2005.
Pennsylvania’s West Reading Diner had received a light retro-remodeling to the exterior- it sports more quilted stainless in these photos than it came out of the factory with. The interior has also been re-done. But the overall exaggerated modern lines of the diner are still in-tact.
Here’s another matchbook cover I just got.
The Pulaski Highway Double T Diner, before it was unfortunately remodeled into the current Happy Day Diner.
Before and after photos here.
The Clearview started out life as a small, five bay 1948 Paramount. It was pretty standard for a Paramount built diner of the late 1940s, which is to say it was extraordinary- with a sensuously curved roofline and strong vertical elements. From the postcard, it’s hard to say what the exterior finish is, but I would guess probably vertically ribbed stainless. It had a great rooftop neon, which, in true 1940s form read “steaks, chops, hamburgers”. You don’t see nearly enough Steaks and Chops being advertised these days. For other ’40s Paramount built diners along similar lines, allow me to direct you to: “Rajun Cajun” of Hartford, CT, a six-bay model from 1950, to the Vale-Rio Diner, another 1948 model.
In 1954, the diner was remodeled and drastically enlarged, adding three bays to the left side and bumping a dining room back quite a ways. Business must have been good! In keeping with this modernization, curved glass supplanted glass brick on the corners. A new, clock topped vestibule was added, and a parapet was added to the curvy monitor roof to give the entire place a continuous, 1954 modern roof line. The emphasis of the design was changed to the horizontal. The diner was topped off with metal awnings and a new freestanding neon, though the steaks-chops rooftop piece remained for at least a little while longer.
Later on, the “Diner” name was dropped, replaced with “The Clearview Dining Room and Coffee Shop”. See Richard J.S. Gutman’s chapter on the move away from the “diner” name in the 1960s in his book “The American Diner Then and Now”. Despite the name and neon changes, the exterior looks to have remained in-tact, with the addition of Pennsylvania Dutch Hex Signs.
In what I’m guessing was the 1960s, the diner was enlarged and remodeled again, with a mid-century modern coffee shop-style vestibule put up along the entire length of the original 1948 section of the diner. Orange tile, floor to ceiling glass, modernist lettering.
Later on, the “Diner” was reintroduced into the name of the Clearview, probably coinciding with the cultural “re-discovery” of the diner in the 1990s. It changed names to the Tic-Tac diner in 2009, but that chapter in its life was short lived. By 2012, the diner had been stuccoed over, painted, and is now known as Babbo’s Italian Grill. A photo of the diner in its current state can be seen on the Diners of Pennsylvania facebook page.
As the Tic Tac Diner
Photo by Casey Kreider
Driving down the highway outside of Pulaski, VA, we spotted the big neon for this place poking through the trees. I couldn’t get the camera out fast enough to snap it, so we took the exit and drove around a bit, until we found it. The motel is still there, though it’s closed. The restaurant isn’t visible from the road, and it’s on private property, so please don’t go searching for it
The motel was once the Days Inn. The last review of it is dated September, 2008, so it closed fairly recently. The restaurant, however, has been closed and abandoned for a bit longer. It is currently condemned. Going by a class of 1963 35th reunion banner still hanging in the restaurant, it’s safe to say that the place closed in 1998 or so.
Shots of the interior. Sorry about the glare, they’re through the windows.
Inside dining room. The “Forever Young” DHS class of 1963 35th Reunion. Possibly Dublin High School?
Candles and coffee mugs still on the tables. Ceiling is caving in.
Stopped in the town of Wytheville, VA for lunch yesterday. Wandered around a little bit, and spotted this old rusty barber shop sign. Went down the side street to get pictures of it, found that it was open and there were no customers. So I went in. The barber, still in the traditional white smock, asked what I wanted. I explained that I was into the whole ’30s/’40s thing, and that that’s how I wanted it. He responded, “so just a normal haircut, then”, and set to work, working almost entirely with the electric clippers. He worked without the length attachments on the clippers, and only used the comb to hold the hair away from my head, not as a guide. Great haircut, neat experience, and only $6.
Some more from the archives, in no particular order.
Short Stop Diner, now Irene’s pupusas. Wheaton, MD
It’s a 1956 Kullman. The neon was nearly as big as the diner itself, but has since disappeared.
Diner- Front Royal, VA
It’s a 1956 Mountain View. Front Royal used to be a hotbed of diners. It had this one, Nick’s Good Food diner, the Do-nut dinette, and another ’50s stainless model. The other three have been knocked down, and this one’s now a used car dealer.
Frost Diner- Warrenton, VA
The Frost is a 1955 O’Mahony.
Tastee Diner- Silver Spring, MD
Tastee Diner- Laurel, MD
a rare Comac brand diner
Bud’s Broiler – New Orleans, LA
Summit Diner– Somerset, PA
Moody’s Diner- Waldoboro, ME