Monday, February 28, 2011

And The Oscar Goes To ...

In 1983 Diner was nominated for Best Screenplay.

Barry Levinson's 1982 critically acclaimed film about longtime friends facing life after college features a now famous "who's who" including Mickey Rouke, Paul Reiser, Kevin Bacon and Steve Guttenberg.

The movie poster showed a generic image but the interior diner shots were filmed in the beautiful Bendix Diner, a 1950s Master Diner located in Hasbrouck Heights, just over the New Jersey state line. The movie will celebrate its 30th Anniversary next year ... ROAD TRIP!

Screenplay of the Year in '83 went to Ghandi. And, when you think of it, Diner offered its own pearls of wisdom ... "If you want to talk, you always have the guys at the diner."

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Stone's Downtown Diner, Hopewell, VA
Originally the Little Chef Diner, then the N & M Diner

Monday, February 14, 2011

Going With The Obvious ... Happy Valentine's Day

The Kansas Historical Society has a great section dedicated to the state's only diner manufacturer ... Valentine Manufacturing Inc.

Arthur Valentine and his wife started a restaurant in the 1920s, expanded to other locations in the 30s, which turned into a chain of diners.

Valentine Diners were manufactured in Wichita between the late 30s and mid 70s, and they produced many styles over the years and 'brand' names include Little Chef, Double Deluxe and Big Chef.

Characterized by their small, boxy buildings, a Valentine's counter sits 8-12 people.

Old advertising programs claim the diners were shipped to 38 states, although evidently not so much in New England. I'd never seen one until we passed through Virginia on the way to North Carolina. 

Stones Downtown Diner, Hopewell, VA
Little Chef model Valentine Diner
Click here to find a Valentine in your area.  Visit the KHS website here

Me and my Valentine
December 2008

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Monday, February 7, 2011

Blanchard's 101, Worcester No. 852

Every diner has a story.  

Blanchard's 101 Diner on Cambridge Street in Worcester is unique in that opened for business for the first time in 2008.  

Larry Cultrera's Dinerhotline had a great post about the history.

Basically, in 1961 the diner was on the production floor when all of the Worcester Lunch Car Company's assets were sold at auction. The new owners hoped to continue in the diner business, but things didn't work out as planned. 
Amazingly, the frame of this 'last' Worcester diner remained enough intact for someone to realize its historic value and built a diner around it, creating Blanchard's 101.

So, are Worcester Diners my favorite style?

Yes ... until I see a shiny Fodero, a 'space age' DeRaffele, a cozy Valentine or have lunch in a Sterling Streamliner or .... 

What's great about the Worcester diners is that they were able to adapt over the years, updating their style to include monitor roofs, a more streamlined appearance and as a result, were in business for over half of a century.

Pretty cool. 
Road Trip
L-R: Kim Smith, Paula Walsh, Richard Gutman
Denise Bass, Larry Cultrera
Blanchard's, 2009

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Worcester Wednesday

95 Prescott Street
Worcester No. 660

Night Photo by Denise JR Bass
155 Shrewsbury Street
Worcester No. 730

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A Week of Worcesters

Providence may be the birthplace of the diner, but Worcester is truly a diner kind of town.

A week's feature on diners manufactured by the Worcester Lunch Car Company could easily focus on this Massachusetts industrial hub.

I guess you'd expect nothing less from a city whose tourist council's information booth was once a diner.

According to Roadside Online's Diner Finder, there are currently 14 diners in Worcester.

11 of these are Worcester style diners
 1 is in storage
 1 is a private residence (really!)
 3 have been renovated to the point where there is little left of the original structure.
   (Having been manufactured in the 1930s & 1940s, it is bound to happen.)
 2 have been remodeled to keep up with the times, but are more true to their original form.
 1 is an 'lost diner found' ... Worcester 101 (more on that later this week.)
 1 used to be a bar and is still in great shape
 2 are picture perfect examples of Worcester Lunch Car craftsmanship.
    (The Boulevard Diner and the Miss Worcester from yesterday's post. I'm seeing conflicting
    reports about the Miss Worcester's status ... is it open?)

Photos tomorrow in a Worcester Wordless Wednesday.