The Riverview Diner was located at 4105 Front Street, Harrisburg, PA. It appears to have been delivered by O’Mahony in 1946, although the diner is a prewar design and was probably placed in the early 1940s. It was owned by Davis S. Reed, who also owned the Handy Diner and the Palace Diner. The diner was removed from the site in 1990 and a Taco Bell was built in its place. The diner was restored, shipped over the Atlantic, and set up in Covent Garden, London, England as part of the Fat Boys diner chain. Here it is in that location. In 2001, it was again relocated, this time to the Bybrook Farm Garden Centre, Canterbury Road, Kennington, Ashford, Kent, UK. Pics from its current location.
The Lemoyne Diner opened on March 25, 1941 at the corner of Third and Market Street, Lemoyne, PA. It was built by the Jerry O’Mahony Dining Car Company and was originally owned by Robert Stanley Viguers. The diner closed in 1981. It sat “in storage” until 1990, when it was moved to Baltimore. It never opened there, and was moved to Providence, RI in 2002. It was moved to Ontario, Canada six years ago, and I haven’t heard any news of its restoration since. The Lemoyne was open for 40 years, and has been closed and traveling for 33.
The Mt. Penn Glass Front Diner was located at the east end of the Lindbergh Viaduct in Reading, PA. It looks like it was located roughly at 2101 Howard Blvd, where Arner’s Family Restaurant is now. (A real estate listing for that restaurant can be found here). The diner is certainly an unusual one. The extreme width (for the pre-war period) is reminiscent of diners built by General and by Bixler, however the roof curvature and detailing is wrong. More than likely it was built on-site by a local contractor. I will give them credit, though, this is a well executed job if that’s what it is.
This photo is from a menu I have in my collection dating from 1941. Some fun facts about the diner from that menu:
Do you know? That we employ 24 people in the diner, 24 hours.
Do you know? That we average over 25,000 patrons monthly.
Do you know? That this is America’s only Vitrolux Glass front diner and Pennsylvania’s Finest.
Do you know? That you have only a five (5) minute drive from the diner to the Chinese pagoda on the Sky Line Boulevard. (Dinerhunter note: It’s worth noting that they’re referring to it as a “Chinese” pagoda. Possibly to do with the Anti-Japanese sentiment of the war-time years.)
Quality food at the lowest possible price is our first consideration
We select all our employees, and instruct them to be civil, kind and thoughtful, even under the most trying circumstances.
We think you have a right to know the quality of food we are serving.
It may interest you to know: That we only use Idaho Potatoes – the world’s finest and that we served more than 60,000 pounds in 1940.
That all our french fried and julienne potatoes are cooked to order in our modern electric fryers.
That we use only the highest grade vegetable shortening for all our cooking and baking.
That in 1940 we used more than 100,000 Berks County fresh eggs, supplied by a reliable farmer. All our eggs are fried in pure dairy butter.
Do you know? That we used 6,000 pounds of creamery butter in 1940
That we served 215,000 cups of coffee the same year.
That we served 5,650 quarts of pure cream for coffee in 1940.
That we served 15,500 quarts of milk during the year 1940.
Do you know? That we grind our own hamburger fresh daily, from choice young beef rounds, and that we served more than 18 tons during 1940.
That we use Swift’s special bacon and choice beef.
That we use Heinz ketchup and tomato juice exclusively.
That we use Spanish onions- the sweetest in America.
We Do Know
That our success depends upon your satisfaction and your recommendation. . . If your food is not as you expect it to be, please oblige the management by having your waitress return same. We do appreciate your patronage.
The Mighty Midget in 1980. It was built by a Glendale, California based firm post-war from a section of bomber fuselage. Apparently they built seven of them, and this is the only one to have survived.
From the 1940s through its closing, it cooked standard grill fare- burgers and hot dogs. It did a stint post-move and post-restoration as a Barbecue place, and now is part of a German Doner restaurant.
Peppi’s is a “National” diner built in the 1940s. It was originally Scotty’s Diner. It is currently operating as a location of Peppi’s Old Tyme Sandwich Shop, but it is still very much a diner in setup and feel. Most importantly, the food is still cooked behind the counter. When I was there, I had one of the best cheesesteaks I had ever eaten. The food is truly delicious. The diner itself is a little rough around the edges, as you can see, especially the outside panels, but it has character.
The interior is a beauty of design, with the geometric patterns in the formica, the stainless work, seen here, photo by Brian Butko, or the winged clock, seen here. It’s interesting that the door frames are still very old style dark stained wood with molding. The diner has original tiny bathrooms to the right, as you can see in the exterior shot from the window delete.
The diner is located at 7619 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA