Irene’s Update

Here is a shot of Irene’s taken yesterday
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Versus how it used to look as the Short Stop
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The exterior doesn’t look like the fluting is original, it reminds me of the replacement material used on Mel’s diner, the former Lincoln diner of Lebanon, PA.

The former Short Stop diner was also known as the Time Out Diner. It’s a 1950s kullman dinette.
Other similar models include the:
White Crystal, which has a reversed floorplan, with the corner door on the right, and the White Rose System of Linden, New Jersey.
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Both of those diners, however, have canted corners, identifying them as later models. Irene’s is an earlier kullman, with flat vertical sections, and a four window front facade, instead of a five window. Earlier model Kullman dinettes retained the corner door, but had rounded windows.

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Gatto Cycle Diner – Tarentum, PA

I visited this one the same day as Peppi’s, on a diner run up to Pittsburgh.  We hit it a little before the chili, which they are famous for, was ready, unfortunately, but the same day that it got a large spread in the local newspaper.

The Gatto Cycle Diner was built in 1949 by the Jerry O’Mahony Company. It is the same model as the Tastee Diner in Silver Spring, and like the Tastee, the original, matching factory kitchen, visible in the pictures of it as Digger’s, is no longer in existence. It is now attached to a Harley Davidson dealership, and is really secondary to the motorcycle shop.

It was abandoned for some time, and was in fairly poor shape by the time it was moved to Tarentum. Though it is obvious, at least to experienced eyes, that a good deal of the diner has been remodeled, it isn’t overblown, and looks essentially the part.

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Here is the diner as it was in its original location, in Butler, PA as Digger’s Diner.

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Photo Courtesy of TheAmericanRoadside

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Photo courtesy of TheAmericanRoadside

And as it was between locations.
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Tastee Diner, Silver Spring, Maryland

This one is the first diner I remember going to, back when I was four or five. When it was moved on July 17, 2000, I was there. I was there when it re-opened at its new location, two blocks away from the old one. Prior to their move, it had that wonderful homey diner feel; small, old. When they moved it, the original factory kitchen was left at the original site, and demolished with the dining room addition, to make way for the new Discovery Channel headquarters. It was cleaned, and re-installed down the road and around the corner with a new dining room addition. A new sign was put up. And the diner feeling that’s so present at the two other Tastees is gone.

Here are some pictures of it, spanning its years.

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’70s night shot

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Old awning with stitched sign and telephone booths

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Front shot

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The diner, a few years later. Different awning, sign on the front and on the sign, different color scheme.

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The diner at its old location and brown color scheme

Today
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The diner, dwarfed by the 2000 additions

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The cleaned exterior and new neon

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The diner is now used as mostly a waiting area for the dining room, and a place for the cash register line to assemble. Most of the booths have been removed to make room for that function.