The Rainbow Diner- Chester, PA

Mike Engle just found the 1957 newspaper page for this Paramount and sent me the tip on it.

I just checked google street view and sure enough it’s still there. Remodeled, yes, but still (barely) recognizable. It doesn’t seem to be in any of the diner finding guides or books, so I suppose this is a new find. I would love to see the interior. Anyone in the Chester area want to go check this one out?


Pushnik’s Diner/ Marabelle’s Restaurant – Lebanon, PA

We visited the former Pushnik’s Diner/ D’Alexander’s during a period between 2003 and 2006 when it was operating as the Horn & Horn diner. It was built in 1960 by the Fodero diner company and replaced an early model Silk City which had previously been on the site. It re-opened on Monday as Marabelle’s Restaurant. The full news story can be read HERE
Their new website is

Waterfall Rooms.

gold and stainless

Lightbulb Sputnik


Excellent 1960 space age styling. Quilted stainless, bold thin, outwardly canted supports, flared roof edge, recessed spotlights.


The original Patterson Vehicle Company built Silk City diner.

Mel’s Diner/ Lincoln Diner – Lebanon, PA

Permanent metal awning and supports have been added to the front of the diner, partially obscuring the roofline.

Reflection of the neon. I’m guessing when the diner was new it had horizontal bands of stainless and flexglas. It appears to have been replaced, or at the least, covered over, with vertical mustard colored metal bits. I don’t feel it detracts terribly from the design, however, evoking the fluted enamel facades of earlier diners.

Side and corner

“Mel’s” sign covering the original “Lincoln”

Quality food

That means you.

With the exception of updated backbar equipment, the interior is still very original.

Seeburg Consolette

New stool tops?


In our line we lead the world

What a terrible haircut.

The New Eat Well Family Diner

We hit this diner in early 2006, just before it moved to New York, where it was restored and reopened as the Elizaville Diner. It was built in 1956 by Kullman.

Siding additions to the vestibule obscure the stainless and a tin mansard roof disguises space-age eaves.

Turquoise and stainless

Canted corner and rounded glass

Join us for breakfast

Jefferson Golden Hour Mystery Clock




“Atomic Bongo” stools

15 year old me with cream chipped beef.

Restored and on the cover of Diners of New York, by Mike Engle and Mario Monti

Harrisburg PA diner trip

Despite generally crappy weather, my dad and his friend Steve Rogers, of, went on a roadtrip from Washington DC to Harrisburg PA.

The West Shore Diner- Lemoyne, PA.

The West Shore is the earliest surviving Silk City diner, and so far as I can tell, the only surviving example of this model, with the demolition of the Miss Jersey City in the 1980s.
More photos of the West Shore can be found here and here.

Please note the narrow width of the diner, combined with the more extreme angles to the ceiling. It’s difficult to tell how much is original to the diner- interiorwise I would say not terribly much, but what is there is old enough to have a character of its own. I would have loved to have seen this diner when she was new.

Steve with an enormous, incredibly inexpensive plate of cream chipped beef

Bison Auction

Wonderful WPA-era frieze of livestock on the side of the building in which the bison auction was held.


Subway Cafe
This was just a picture stop, but it has a nice neon.

State Street Bridge
The eagles were carved by one of my ancestors, Ira A. Correll, who also carved the “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s my Brother” at Boystown, NE in addition to many many more sculptures. Unfortunately, the bulk of his work was never signed, so it is difficult to track down.

American Dream Diner

Wolfe’s Diner

Just down from Wolfe’s

Ace Diner- Philadelphia, PA

I ran across quite a few diner photos which I haven’t published- I’m going to try to work my way through them over the next couple of months.

I visited the Ace in 2006 with my father and Randy Garbin, of Roadside fame.
The diner is an extensively remodeled Silk City. One listing I have for it says it was built c. 1938, the other that it is from the ’40s.
Though it was remodeled extensively, which outwardly conceals its true nature, inside it is all diner.

The fresh baked bread at the Ace would alone be worth the stop.


A picture, courtesy of Brian Butko, of the diner before it was remodeled. Please visit his website and his blog, Lincoln Highway News.

The Summit Diner- Somerset, PA

While we’re on the topic of the Summit Diner, here are some photos, mainly of the interior, from the past six years.

July 2004- more or less as it came from the factory, with 40+ years of wear.

Jan 2007- ceiling beams painted black, some reupholstered stools

2007- original wallpaper on far back wall. Fits with the colonial/western interior theme


Jan 2008- new stools, new counters, formica replaced with diamondplate or quilted stainless, clock covered over with stainless and retro coca cola clock. Doors to kitchen replaced with stainless. Wagon wheel light fixtures replaced with stainless.

Jan 2008 – middle row of booths removed, replaced with retro boomerang formica topped tables. Back wall with original wallpaper painted over black, copies of magazines mentioning diner framed. Formica replaced with diamond plate aluminum or stainless. Woodwork painted black.

December 15, 2009


The History of the Summit Diner of Somerset, PA

Review of The History of the Summit Diner of Somerset, PA

Diner fans and those used to driving the Pennsylvania turnpike should enjoy this self-published booklet and labor of love by D.A. Florence, a.k.a. “Diner Dave”.
The 80 page book takes the reader on a trip down memory lane, recounting the history and the personalities behind this 1960 Somerset dining institution. Florence is a true fan of the Summit, and devotes a good deal of space to the folks who made, and still make this diner a pleasure to visit. The book is generously illustrated with archival photos, as well as many from the author’s own collection.
“Diner Dave” also includes a bit of general diner history, as well as local facts related to the Summit’s place in Somerset lore. The book also includes a thorough bibliography that will serve as a good starting reference for those just developing an interest in the joys of roadside dining.
All in all, this is one diner fanciers extended love letter to his favorite establishment. As Florence sums up in a line from a self penned poem at the book’s closing-
“….hold your heads high at the Summit Diner.
As their motto says, “There’s no place finer.”

Photos from a book signing at the Summit, showing the most recent interior renovation.

Review written by Michael G. Stewart, photographer