The DINER.

Discussion in 'The Golden Era' started by Wild Root, Feb 16, 2005.

  1. BlueTrain

    BlueTrain Call Me a Cab

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    2,073
    Believe it or not, I've actually had dreams about places like that. A city diner, not necessarily big city. Even my hometown of around 7,500 (depending on the year) had a proper city main street diner, and in fact, it was named "Ferrell's Diner." It may or may not still be there. There was another very similar restaurant within a block or two and I get them confused. The golden era for those places was in the 1940s and 1950s when anyplace downtown (about four blocks long) was jammed at lunchtime. Even the high school kids, later the junior high, went downtown for lunch. All the drug stores, both of them, had lunch counters.

    There were a few nice restaurants in town, some not so nice, and even a hotel that used to have a dance band--and this in a small town--but no diners of the free-standing variety.

    Now the funny thing about a diner is that they were never pretentious. It was meatloaf, hamburgers and so on. The height of diner cuisine was fried onion rings. But yet at the same time, there was a standard of styling that practically defined the diner that no longer seems to exist.
     
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  2. scotrace

    scotrace Head Bartender Staff Member

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    I'll have the short stack and a side of eggs, up and over, coffee, black. 20637995_742021099334696_7040279329413012350_n.jpg
     
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  3. BlueTrain

    BlueTrain Call Me a Cab

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    Is the 4th photo in Front Royal, by any chance?
     
  4. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

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  5. 2jakes

    2jakes I'll Lock Up

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    Alamo Heights ☀️ Texas
    ....and the wagons keep rollin' along!
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  6. 2jakes

    2jakes I'll Lock Up

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  7. tonyb

    tonyb I'll Lock Up

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    My mother's basement
    Had lunch yesterday at the Moonlight Diner out by DEN. Like another genuine stainless steel, trucked-in-sections-to-the-site diner around here (more on that below), the food was adequate if not quite write-home-to-Mom-about-it quality.

    My visit was motivated more by a desire to sample the decor than the fare. My own recent home kitchen remo-lite is 1950s diner “inspired” — boomerang Formica countertops edged in brightly plated ribbed aluminum, and atop those counters a genuine Sunbeam T9 toaster, a period Oster beehive blender, a chrome-plated bread box, etc. Period-appropriate (if not genuinely vintage) hardware on the freshly painted cabinets.

    In my own project I was careful not to cross over to the kitschy side. This is a house, after all, not a museum. I think I succeeded. And beyond that, I like my automatic dishwasher. And my microwave oven. And the espresso machine.

    Can’t say the same for the Moonlight Diner. Yeah, I know, it’s a commercial establishment and not a home kitchen, so layering on the “theme” a bit more heavily is to be expected. But dang, people, if you’re going to cover the walls with obviously phony “vintage” advertising signage, at least hire a designer who knows what s/he is doing. Don’t hang it just any old way and call it good. And don’t use fake pressed tin (plastic, probably) panels in the drop ceiling. No, no, no.

    On the upside, they got the upholstery and the tables right. Quality stuff, well designed and well executed. And, as already noted, the basic structure itself is the real deal.

    The other “real” diner, of which I have written before, is less than a mile from our house. It’s called Rosie’s, and in its entirety it’s better executed than the Moonlight. The interior finishes — the floors, the tiling, the upholstery and tabletops and the whole shooteroo, was obviously designed and installed by people who had done this many times before. So it’s quite the visual treat, which, alas, isn’t at all enhanced by the over-the-top kitsch — the lifesize Elvis standee and the little plaques on the counter declaring seats there reserved for Frank Sinatra and Humphrey Bogart and Marilyn Monroe, et cetera.

    They have a real diner there, brought to that site and finished at some considerable trouble and expense, and they go and phony it up. I have little doubt that the marketing specialists in the restaurant industry could show me how this ersatz stuff gets more customers through the doors, but it has the opposite effect on me.
     
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  8. 2jakes

    2jakes I'll Lock Up

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    Alamo Heights ☀️ Texas
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    1957
    Coke,burger and fries! :)
     
  9. tonyb

    tonyb I'll Lock Up

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    Rotting away in a junkyard. The interior is gutted and the rest of it appears to be deteriorated almost beyond salvation.

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    Last edited: Oct 22, 2019
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  10. 3fingers

    3fingers One Too Many

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    ^^^ There was one of those in a town just south of here. It survived in daily operation until the early 1980s. The site where it spent its life now holds an abandoned KFC that has been closed for years now.
     
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  11. Cocker

    Cocker Practically Family

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    605
    Location:
    Belgium
    4 years ago, Denny's Diner in Locust Grove, GA. Needless to say I loved it there, and the music was on par with the looks!

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  12. tonyb

    tonyb I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
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    Location:
    My mother's basement
    I’ve seen other Denny’s restaurants retrofitted with glass brick and stainless steel doors at the entrance, a la the one above. But that’s as far as the “diner” motif goes.

    I’m fondest of the streamline moderne diners — the rounded corners and overall cleaner lines. But even those lovely examples are too often diminished by their owners’ inclination to bling ’em out. Gilding the lily, is what it is.
     
  13. tonyb

    tonyb I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
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    Location:
    My mother's basement
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    Much more recent construction, but plainly deco/moderne “inspired.” The interior is very well executed. It stays on the good side of kitschy.
     
  14. GHT

    GHT I'll Lock Up

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    Location:
    New Forest
    Just north of the City of Portsmouth is a truck stop like no other. Based on the American Diner design it it always at full capacity. Occasionally they will have a classic truck display, and on the first Sunday of the month half the tables are cleared away so that we can all gather there for a Rock & Roll breakfast, then hop and bop for a few delightful hours. In the last picture, you can't mistake the red hair of my missus, even though she's looking away from camera.
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  15. 3fingers

    3fingers One Too Many

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    Illinois
    That 3 wheeled tractor is interesting. I've never seen one before.
     
  16. GHT

    GHT I'll Lock Up

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    Location:
    New Forest
    The Scammell Scarab was the successor to the Scammell Mechanical Horse and production began in 1948. Its name is commonly believed to be derived from the rounded bonnet (hood) that resembled the elytra (wing covers) of a Scarab beetle, but the name really comes from a more conventional source. It was a hybrid of Scammell and the Arab horse which the Mechanical Horse replaced in British Railways usage. The official Scammell Truck advertisement film makes reference to this. It was extremely popular with British Railways and other companies which made deliveries within built-up areas. The Ministry of Defence also used the Scarab and trailers for predominantly internal transport on large military bases.

    It's predecessor The Scammell Mechanical Horse, with its very 'square' wooden cab and steel chassis, remained largely unchanged until the late 1940s when the tractor section was redesigned, creating the Scammell Scarab, which featured the same successful automatic coupling from the original but now used the Scammell 2,090 cc side-valve engine in both the three- and six-ton versions. A diesel version was also introduced with a Perkins engine. The Scarab's cab was more rounded and made from steel including roof and windscreen panels pressed from steel tools obtained from Bedford that made up the roof of the 'O' type truck. With the engine being mounted lower and more centrally than in the Mechanical Horse, the Scarab was much more stable. Production ended in the mid 1960's.
    The reference above to Bedford, is that of the Bedford Commercial Vehicle Company, part of Vauxhall Motors and, until recently, a subsidiary of General Motors.
    If early commercials fascinate you, this video, which includes lots of footage of the three wheeled tractor, is very interesting.
     
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  17. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

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    We know you're here, Griffy. Reveal yourself.
     
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