Finger Lakes diners
Wayne County -
A Ward and Dickinson diner,
just after #100, known as the Cowboy Diner. Harry Belding ran the
diner for more than a dozen years after moving from Iowa. Diner
was well known to the traveling public. His wife rented it out
aftrwards but no one kept. It was bought by Pulcini's Farm and
used for storage/farm stand for an undetermined amount of time.
3/17/1927 - Harry Belding of Charlotte, Iowa will run l.car just east of the
trolley stn in the near future. The car will be a convenience to many
1/14/1932 - Mrs Laurette Evans of Klaukos, Montana, who at one time was a champion
lady bronco rider of the world, called on her old friend HarrY Belding
of the Palmyra dc one day last week
11/26/1936 - Belding and Stanley Sprobe of Williamson left monday with trailer for
Jacksonville, Florida where they will join Col Jim Eskey‚€™s Rodeo for
a winter tour of the south, Mr & Mrs Kenneth Mason have leased the
dc while the Beldings are absent.
1937 taxes in newspaper - Palmyra tax - Harry and Julia Belding, lc, bounded north by Main St,
east and south by Spencer L Knapp and west by Clifford G Adams
Mr and Mrs Raymond Burdick, sister with Mrs Belding of Palmyra, helped out at times
was another diner in town. The diner showed up in Tax Records.
It was near Park Drive and Canal St. Park was the main
north south road at the time before it was bypassed by a new bridge
over the Erie Canal.. There is a Greek restaurant at the location
taxes - Palmyra tax- lc bounded by village on north, east by Railroad
Ave, south by Canal St, west by Peter and Jennie DeBrine
- Gil's Diner becomes B and C Diner, Bert Tuttle and Charles Stape,
opens 1/28/1941, was said to be at the end of East Main St.
Gil's diner, Jct 21 and 31 where Greek restaurant is located today.
Matchbook shows diner, 3 windows on end if it means anything. Also got
Palmyra Home Diner given address is corner Railroad and Canal, which
may be the same place.
4/3/1901 - Frank Farron of Seneca Falls bought new Wagon in Newark
1/8/1909 - Newark lc burned $250 damage
A Richardson built diner was
placed in Newark by George Dickinson. A photograph ofthe diner
exists, near the fire station. It sounds like it lasted into the
10/22/1934 - Taxes - Town of Arcadia. Edward and Edna Steen, lunch car bounded
north by East Union, east by Critella, south and west by Doty.
July 1935 - Town Arcadia- lc bounded north by E Union, east by Critella, south and west by Doty
8/5/1939 - chattel-Fred G Judd & Ellsworth Burns to Grodon K Cowles, lc equip $4k
10/6/1939 - Ellsworth H Burns, lc 123 wilson(residential St) to Crosby St
There was also a Sterling diner in Newark.
9/23/1939 - Curtis C Scofield from JB Judkins $10k Sterling Diner
6/5/2003 - Jim McBride's Newark Diner, review, took over in 1985, third owner
7/21/1938 - Connie's D-William @ Water Sts, robbed
11/4/1906 - W.H. Westfall opened lc at c S. Park and Glasgow St. old car is not
ornamental and was used until dilapitated as a street car on Seneca
10/12/1907 - Westfall lc moved, placed at entrance to DeZing Coal Yard, near lift bridge, and is open for business
9/22/1915 - Westfall leasing out lc so he can visit daughter in Geneva
- Westfall's lc, just south of the canal bridge on Glasgow St had fire
caused by electric wiring. Interior completely ruined
nov 1947 - Curve Inn Diner, East Genesee St. Ralph DeLeo mgr (unconfirmed)
Ontario County -
3/10/1896 - two applications for lw, one from guy from Ithaca, other J.J. Gaines (One was called a Columbian Cafe)
10/10/1896 - All night lw thriving. Another wagon, of a different kind, is also attracting crowds at Castle/Exchange
Would become - 292
Exchange - lunch wagon
4/1/1896 - J.W. Bosworth of Cortland opened new lw
June 1897 - Bosworth moved to Seneca Bank location
1897 - Arthur Bosworth "Owl Lunch Wagon" lw at Seneca and Exchange, came from Cortland
- Art Bosworth has a new lw in front of Geneva Nat Bank and is coining
money, hand over fist, what a snap. [seems like same location]
9/27/1906 - Arthur Bosworth leased his lw to Martin Duffy, takes posession Oct 1
Lynch - 1909
Arthur Condit had in 1909
Lunch - Joseph F & LeRoy P Murphy 1911 - 1913
1/6/1912 - The bank corner lw will relocated to Catchpole prop near NY Central.
Lunch - Mrs. Gertrude M. Goetchius 1915 - 1917
Lunch - George W. & Russell A. Underwood 1921
3/18/1898 - E Hamil, mfg of lw asked city to place lw in Geneva, no action taken
12/2/1899 - L.A. Trout lw next to Borgman's furniture store on Exchange, new in November
1907ish - John McAuliffe - White lw on lower Exchange
Exchange - lunch wagon
A. Ferguson - 1909 - 1911
8/18/1910 - The red lw which formerly stood on the Catchpole prop on Exchange St
moved to Madia prop where White lw formerly stood. Wagon closed for
some time, reopened by Peter and Ant...
1911 - 1913 - Joseph Murphy red lw on Exchange St
1909 - Emmet's lw in Exchange near Bre??t Hotel
Aug 1906 - Fred Bradford lw
was a diner here in 1927, that seemed to have disappeared in short
order. Next came what we believe was a Ward and Dickinson diner.
Diner - Glenn W. Bush 1931 - 1932
Diner - Glenn W. Bush 1934 - 1946
and Franklyn Richardson, former Ward and Dickinson employee was hired
in the summer of 1940 to build Bush a new diner. They built a
barrel roof diner.
8/1/1940 - Richardson in Geneva for grand opening (Silver Creek newspaper)
Dinette - I.D. Sanders(mgr) 1946
5/5/1948 - David Sanders who managed Schanaker's Elmira diner bought Geneva Dinette at 382 Exchange
Diner - Douglas E. & Wallace B. Fairchild 1949 - 1958
Diner - Warren G. Bush 1960 -
11/30/1977 - Article that diner was being razed for parking lot. Warren
Bush was quoted as saying, Buster Sacone, curley Fairchild and Max
Golos leased the diner at various times. He says "The Silver Creek Co
manufactured the original diner and it was brough to Exchange St on the
land of the owners of the former Buick Garage. "The diner opened
(1940) when the Sampson Naval boot camp was flourishing and gradually
it earned a reputation "around the country" as a good eating spot."
Lake - Bixler
November 1933 - new Bixler l.c. on Lake St.
Grille - Donald L Woodworth 1934 - 1952
Grille - F.W. Tuxill 1946
Diner - Harry J. Howell 1955 - 1960
Odds & Ends
5/28/1937 - Rothenberg's at foot of lake, newly built lunch car
1945 ish - Schweitzer's D at foot of Lake opens under mgt of E.L. Jorgenson
1939 - Don Renegar of Waterloo conducts a lc in Geneva (Niagara Falls newspaper)
4/26/1939 - Permit for diner on old Roger's lumber property on Lake St filed by James G Handlan and James E Bonnell 48x16
3/20/1930 - Mr & Mrs Eugene Walsh moving from Seneca Falls to Geneva to conduct lw
There were two diners in town, one at the corner of Saltonstall and Main St was a
for sure. This diner moved to West Ave, was enlarged by a
carpenter who took the time to imitate the look of a Ward and Dickinson
diner on the exterior. Over time, the diner was boogered beyond
The second was owned by the Sequin Bros who came from
North Tonawanda. I'm leaning Ward and Dickinson, but I need
There were at least two more authentic diners in
Canandaigua. There was a Silk City outside of town and a
Kullman mentioned in the newspapers.
There was a Ward and Dickinson diner at Saltonstall and Main St starting February-March 1927.
March 1927 - Bruno Dining Car, Saltonstall and S Main, "the Palace of Eats"
April 1927 - Bennett, Palace Dining Car, c. Main at Saltonstall [Vince Martonis has a photo from this time]
7/26/1928 - Flora Bennett purchased Palace Diner in Canandaigua, opens Saturday
Aug 1935 - Diner on S. Main at Saltonstall moved to West St. next to Sunoco Stn
1936 - Mrs M.B. Carroll of Auburn has new d.c. 113 West Ave, West Ave
Diner [I don't know if I buy this. I think it may have just been
2/21/1940 - Art Hoffman has purchased the West End Diner from Bruno Ceffali.
Feb 1948 - J.R. Hopkins mgr of West End diner
F Seguin came from North Tonawanda where he ran two diners. One
could have been a storefront, but we believe one was a diner.
12/21/1934 - Leo F Seguin given permission for fire proof diner at 246 S Main in Nov
Nov 1949 - SantAngelo owns Seguins Diner-216 S. Main, could be moved due to city
An on-site Seguin's Diner would open at 239 S Main St.
1962 - Hopewell Diner - 3 miles east of Canandaigua on US Rt 20 and 5,
Robert Estes and Betty Campbell. Listed as Kullman for sale May 1962.
Still had 10/16/1962
Unsure how these fit in :
Jan 1937 - Bert Week closed lcar on Main St. no plans
Aug 1946 - Clark's Diner, opp Kershaw Park at the lake. Clark Holcomb. Was "new" 4-22-1938
1956 - Mecislaus "Mike" Matuzas - Clark's Diner(Geneva newspaper)
6/21/1941 - Herbert Baye, Lake St, diner-restr
1/8/1948 - Miller's Diner 207 S Main -Margaret Miller. Bought fronm Joseph Muscato
was a diner of unknown make in Victor. A gentleman who was
interviewed for an Albion, New York story said there was a Ward and
Dickinson diner in Victor. He did think a Liberty was a W&D, so it could be any of the vicinity's makes.
Aug 1935 - lcar on Loomis property, west of Bradley Hardware on south side of E Main St. Robert Bennett
March 1937 - Miss Katherine Kennedy formerly employed at Victor Lunch Car
7/7/1937 - More drivers between Utica and Buffalo plan their main lunch for Pop's
lunch cart in Victor. Pop knows how they like their coffee and who's
been through and who hasn't.(St. Johnsville paper)
April 1946 - Victor L.car has disappeared from view with walls of new cinder block bld.
8/25/1969 - Robert O. Bennett died, ran diner for 29 years.
1936 - James Jones l.c. (??) (Shortsville newspaper)
ca 1958 - Phippen's Diner- 164 W Main St
ca 1941 - Frederic Traber had victor Diner in Victor (Ellicottville newspaper)
ca 1940 - Clara Fisher to William C Loury, diner at Victor (Rochester newspaper)
was a used diner in Naples. It was either a Liberty or
Mulholland. Something is just slightly off in the photo I saw of
Seneca County -
Waterloo had a Ward and Dickinson diner #22 in the village after it started in Auburn, New York as the first Carrollette Diner. It was located at 33 Seneca and lasted into the 1960s I believe.
In 1965, the Current Connie's Diner came to Waterloo. It is either a Manno or a DeRaffele.
Seneca Falls -
For three years, Ward and Dickinson #27 was in Seneca Falls before heading to Buffalo, New York.
There was a Sterling Diner that was popular for a number of years.
Cayuga County -
C Close and Raymond Brady opened two diners in Auburn. One at 51
State which probably replaced an older lunch wagon and the other at 211
Clark. They sold the one at 51 State to
Stephen J Miller in 1944 and he ran it for a few years until George
Younis was listed as the owner in 1948. In 1950 Earl R Kilmer was
running the diner, followd by James Osterhout in 1954 and Alphonse
Finizio in 1955.
diner at 211 Clark was expanded over the years and eventually run by
the families of the original owner until roughly 1964. A 1964
article says that the diner operated in Syracuse from 1924 to 1930 when
it was brought to Auburn.
- HUGE DINING CAR ARRIVES HERE AS NOVEL RESTAURANT The monotony
of Auburn traffic was broken Saturday by the appearance of a large
dining car being towed through the streets by a large truck to its
berth adjoining the Leonard sales rooms in State Street. The car is 30
feet long and 11 fee wide. It was towed from New Rochelle.
When set up it will serve as a
dining car, the chef, Harold Spinks,
formerly being associated with the
Onondaga Hotel. The interior of the
car is finished in marble, white tile
and German silver. It is the most
pretentious of modern dining cars.
All cooking, say the owners will
be done in plain sight of the customer. Fifteen chairs line the long
counter. It will operate under the
name of the Close-Brady Grill.
- Workmen today began tearing the 40 year old section of the
Close and Brady Diner and restaurant at 211 Clark St, getting ready to
build a new 45-foot section to the existing dining room section.
Raymond H Brady Jr, manager, today said completion date for the new addition is May 1.
The old diner in 1924 was in operation in Syracuse with the late Clarence T Brady and Raymond H Brady, Sr.
In 1930, the diner was brought to Auburn and set up for business on its present location.
Later an addition was made.
new addition will be of cement block faced with tile. It will be a
dinerrestaurant with 18 stools at a counter, Mr. Brady said.
kitchen, located to the rear of the old diner was renovated laast
December, business will continue during construction, Mr. Brady said.
was a Bixler diner in Auburn. Located at 120 State Street by the
prison. Timothy J Flood ran the diner for about 10 years before
selling to Roy H Robertson who ran the diner for roughly 30 years.
Jerrimiah L Burke took over in 1975 followed by Tom R Woods and Kathy
Moonin 1984, who would become his wife in 1987. In 1988 Timothy J and
Ann M Farrelly would run the diner for a year or two before Patricia
McNabb would run the diner up until a fire in 1995 closed the place.
Amazingly, someone took the job of restoring the diner, years
Diner Serves Up Memories Renovated Auburn eatery opens doors to patrons
February 13, 2003
By Beth Beer Staff writer
in the frame of a recent picture of the Auburn Diner is a photograph of
the pre-renovated diner. The image shows the railway car diner in a
deteriorated state, panels on the outside wall either falling off or
"Inside, there was nothing because of a fire,"
said Toni Bianco, a co-owner with her husband, Steve. "Inside it was
all charred." It barely resembles the current diner today - where the
picture is displayed - with its light peach exterior, rose-colored
counter, flat-screen televisions and addition for the kitchen and
future ice cream stand. The Biancos purchased the diner and the land it
sits on from the Cayuga County Industrial Development Authority for
$25,000 in May 2001. Steve and Toni Bianco opened the diner's doors
Jan. 20 after almost a year and a half of renovating it. Steve Bianco
billed it as a quiet opening but received the opposite response. "We
got bombarded like you wouldn't believe," he said. "It was just by
word-of-mouth." Many of the diner's customers frequented the old Auburn
Diner when it was parked on State Street across the street from the
Auburn Correctional Facility. It was damaged by fire in May 1995. In
October 2000, the abandoned diner was moved from State Street to the
old railroad bed by the former Singer Factory on Columbus Street. The
diner is now across the street from Courier Plastics and Jacobs Press
on Columbus Street and close to Bombardier Transportation. Former
prison guards, waitresses and owners have stopped in, bearing
photographs of the diner in its heyday. "I'm just excited that the
thing still survived," said Steve Bianco, who patronized the old diner
as a child and teen. "This diner's pushing 70 to 75 years. It was
almost demolished." The diner is open from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. seven days
a week. It seats 40 people comfortably and is nonsmoking. It employs
around 13 people, most of them family members. So far, Saturdays have
proved to be the busiest, Steve Bianco said. "We've had over 400 people
come through the door on Saturdays," Bianco said. "The cooks are
nonstop from 6 till 2." The menu item that has received the most
compliments is the "diner burger," a concoction consisting of a meat
patty, sauteed onions, eggs, spices and a special sauce. The menu will
expand to include ice cream in the spring when the ice cream stand
opens. Bianco said he's toying with expanding the diner's hours for the
summer. Bianco, who owns Bianco Plumbing and Heating in Auburn,
expected the diner's revival to cost between $100,000 and $150,000. He
said he has spent double that. He worked on the renovations himself
with other contractors. He's also thinking of adding picnic tables and
possibly a gazebo. "There's still things I want to do here," he said.
"I'm not done yet."
- Utica. July 19,1933—Schedules were filed today in Federal Court here
in the involuntary bankruptcy petition against Margaret B. Carroll and
William H. Carroll, doing business as the Carrollette Diner,
show liabilities jointly of $6,601.50 and assets of $2,600, the latter
including a dining car valued at $2,500 with a mortgage of 51,700.
Individual schedules are listed as follows: Margaret Carroll,
liabilities of $5,514 and assets of $1,600; William H. Carroll, debts
of $4,414 and assets of $40. An Involuntary petition directed against
the partnership is filed by three creditors, the Dairymen's League
Co-operative Association of Auburn, Rublee Manufacturing Company and
Edward B. Koon.
Hunters Dinerante, a 1951 O'Mahony diner sits on a spot
that previously help three different Ward and Dickinson diners.
The first, Ward and Dickinson diner #22. This was traded in for a larger dner and this original diner went to Waterloo, New York. The
second diner lasted from 1928 to roughly 1938. We do not know where it
went. A third larger diner was brought in at the end of 1938.
This was one of the rare wide Ward and Dickinson diners, similar
to the diner that went to the Kendall Station in Silver Creek.
That is the diner that got replaced by the O'Mahony in 1951.
9/17/1951 - Auburn's new $100,000 stainless steel diner,owned and operated by Robert N. Hunter, will be
officially opened at 6 a. m. Wedneaday after several months of
construction and refinishing work.
The diner, one of the most modern in the state, is located at 18
Genesee Street, running parallel
with the street across the Owasco
Outlet. It will be opened for 24-
Prior to the opening date, Mr.
Hunter and his wife, Louise, will
hold open house Tuesday from 5
to 11 p. m, A complete inspection
of the 54-foot diner and free refreshments will be available to
everyone during this time.
Started In May
Construction work on the foundation, cellar and complete kitchen
for the diner was started last May
by Bert Clark, general contractor.
Mr. Clark pointed out that 80,000
pounds of steel was used to set up
the foundation on stone piers In
The difficult task of bringing
! the dicer to Auburn and setting it
in place was accomplished by R.
L. Schooley of this city. The huge
eating car was brought to Auburn
from Elizabeth, N. J. Robert S.
Richards was the architect.
The Interior'of the lunch car is
done In rose and gray with a diamond pattern terraizo floor. A
50-'oot stainless steel mirror Is
across the ceiling of the diner
The main entrance opens
into a vestibule. The counter is
made up of two sections, each
with its complete equipment.
Twelve stools are in one part and
eight in the other. A feature of
the leather booths which will accommodate 44 persons will be a
family seating arrangement that
can handle a party of 12 people.
Mr. Hunter pointed out during
a tour yesterday that no food of
any kind is cooked in the diner.
A fully equipped soda fountain
occupies one end of the building
and display cases for pies, cakes
and other desserts are across the
back of the counter. Refrigerated
display cases are also in the diner
A cashier's booth and display
ease for cigarettes, candy, etc., is
located near the main entrance.
Two rest rooms are located on
the left side of the diner, both
in ceramic tile. A large mirror is
also located across one end of the
car. The diner is equipped witl.
gas heat and air-conditioning. Indirect lighting has been installed
throughout the structure.
kitchen is broken down into four separate sections. An electric
dishwasher and separate glass washer and sterilizer that has
constant hot water at I80 degree temperature is in one section of the
kitchen. A part is set aside for the baker. Baking ovens, stoves, proof
box for dough and a baker's refrigerator is included among his
equipment. A special section is set up for the short order cooks. Two
grills and an electric broiler, work table and a refrigerator are
available for the cooks. One of the grills is the only piece of
equipment retained from the old diner. The 25-year-old grill was
highly polished every day and has been completely re-built by Blaine
Baker so that it looks as modern as the new grills. The fourth
compartment of the kitchen is for the chef. The latest type, Steam-It
broiler, that can cook a roast or fowl in half an hour, is among the
pieces of equipment. A chef's refrigerator, racks for pots and pans,
and other utensiles are located in this department. Jerry Sawyer, head
chef, who has been with Mr. Hunter since he took over the diner 10
years ago, will continue to feature many of his famous dishes, the
owner stated a small office done in knotty pine is situated between the
dining car and the kitchen. Serving Counter The serving counter
is of stainless steel and the food is protected and kept hot at all
time by a radiant ray food warmer. A cold top is also refrigerated
to keep the cold foods at a proper; temperature A large
stainless steel steam table is located in the middle of the kitchen.
Dishes that blend with the color scheme of the diner and special
children's plates for half portion orders have been purchased.
Hop-Along Cassidy is pictured on the boys' plates while
Little Bo-Peep is printed on the girls' dishes. All new dishes and
cutlery have been acquired for the diner. Rest rooms and dressing
quarters for the 26 or 30 employes will be built in the basement of
the kitchen. Electric potato peeler and french fry cutter is located in
the cellar-alone with other material; and equipment. A catwalk
completely encircles the structure which will contain ample space for
storage and also enable the employes to get at the windows in
the rear and clean the exhaust fans. Glass blocks that are lighted
at night have been inserted along the lower front of the diner. A
huge neon sign will be erected in front of the diner. The old diner
which was erected in 1926, was taken over by Mr. Hunter just before
the war. While he was in service, the diner was capably operated by his
wife. Most of the present employes have been with Mr. Hunter for the 10
years that he has been in business.
|Carrollet Diner||18 Genesee||W and D||1926||1934||William H. Carroll||two Wards|
|Weddigan's Diner||18 Genesee||W and D||1935||1938||Robert B. Weddigan|
|Bush's Diner||18 Genesee||1939||1941||Glenn W. Bush|
|Hunter's Diner||18 Genesee||1942||1950||Robert N. + Louise B. Hunter|
|Hunter Dinerant||18 Genessee||O'Mahony||1951||1969||Robert N. Hunter|
|Hunter Dinerant||18 Genessee||1970||1977||Perry + Hilda Young|
|Park View Diner||18 Genessee||1979||1980||David Younis|
|Parkview Diner||18 Genessee||1982||1982||Warner Meis|
|Partner's Parkview Dine||18 Genessee||1985||1990||William F. Koegel|
|Hunter's Diner||18 Genessee||1994||1996||Shane Younie|
|Hunter's Dinerant||18 Genessee||1997||1997||Richard McMahon|
9/23/1977 - The Hunter Dinerant on the Genesee
Street Bridge, a local landmark for 50
years, will close its doors midnight Sunday.
There is a possibility that Bob Hunter,
who started to work in the original diner 50
years ago and later owned it, may run it
But the present operator, Lynn Spence,
said he has not found a buyer and has no
choice but to dose, because there is not
enough traffic in downtown Auburn to keep
Spence says that urban renewal is to blame, at least to a large part.
But Spence will not get out of the
restaurant business. He and his wife
Lorrie will concentrate their.efforts on
their other enterprise, Pinky's & Perry's
Spence said the diner had a large
number of loyal customers and that he
feels badly about abandoning them, then
added that they would be welcome at the
Spence has been connected with the
Hunter diner for about six years, or since
he married the daughter of the owner. Perry H. Young. Mr. Young died early this
year and the diner is now owned by his
He had asked in his will that the diner
should be run by his wife. Mrs. Hilda
Young, and his daughter and her husband
until a new owner could be found, but
according to Spence it was decided to close
the doors now.
Bob Hunter, who runs the CCCC
cafeteria, today recalled some of the early
history of the diner He said he believed
the first diner, a Ward-Dixon model
resembling a railroad car. was placed on the bridge in 1927. He said the diner then
was running parallel to the outlet, or north
He said it was called the Carroll Diner,
or the Carrollette. and he worked there
He said the diner changed hands twice
before he bought it in 1939. He had the
present diner installed in 1%1. and
changed the direction so that it stands
parallel to Genesee Street, or east and
He said he sold the diner to Young about
eight years ago.
4/30/1978 - Mayor Paul W. Lattimore said Friday
he has suggested the city buy the former
Hunter Dinerant on Genesee Street and
remove it from the bridge over the Owasco
Lattimore said the city is in discussions
with Robert Hunter over the price and that
he expects the City Council to take some
action on the matter next week. Hunter holds the mortgage on the
property which he sold tor Mr. and Mrs.
Perry Young in 1969. The owner since died
and the Young estate has missed
mortgage payments. Hunter said.
Hunter said he has paid about $15,500 in
back taxes on the property and also paid
off a lien by the Small Business
Administration for default on a loan for
A mortgage foreclosure sale will be
conducted at 10 a.m. Monday on the
County Courthouse steps. The diner will go
to anyone bidding more than Hunter is
owed and he will, "be paid. Otherwise Hunter will own the diner.
The mayor said Hunter wants to dispose
of the property and "we have had one
inquiry from a party from out of town
about buying and removing" the diner. He
said he expects other prospective buyers
to come forward when they learn the diner
is for sale.
The diner has been closed since last
Lattimore said he suggested that either
the city or the Auburn Industrial
Development Authority could
purchase the diner and resell it to someone
willing to move it. and then remove the
piers supporting the diner from the river.
He said the matter was discussed with
the council in executive session Thursday
and the the council directed City Manager
Bruce Clifford and John Pettigrass, city
corporation counsel, to discuss it further
Lattimore said the price the city offers
for the building probably would be based
on its assessment, which is supposed to reflect fair market value.
The mayor said the city should be
concerned with the property because it is
on the Outlet in a section slated for
beautification. The project includes
demolition of the Barbara Jay building at
the corner of Genesee and Osborne streets,
Lattimore suggested that after the diner
and piers are removed, the city should
replace the solid steel fence on that side of.
the bridge with the same type of fencing
installed on the north side, noting "people
like to stop and look" at the water flowing.
The diner was closed due to financial
.problems after the former owners died
and the SBA planned to foreclose on the
equipment. Lattimore said the owners
also were in arrears on taxes, which
Hunter paid "to protect his investment."
the mayor said.
Hunter said he expects to sell the diner,
which he said he believes is a "good
business opportunity." particularly with
the new development downtown.
5/15/1978 - Possible city purchase of the Hunter
Dinerant on Genesee Street was discussed
again Thursday by the City Council in
Although the value of the property is still
under discussion, Mayor Paul Lattimore said today the owner, Robert Hunter, is
asking about $40,000 for the diner and the
river bed on which it is built.
The property is assessed at about
$32,000, including the water rights. City
Manager Bruce Clifford reported.
Clifford said the city is "anxious" to buy
land if someone else buys the diner and
agrees to move it.
Even if it does not buy the diner, the
mayor said, the city has been advised by
its counsel to take an option subject to any
"The important thing is that the city
should control the situation." Lattimore
said. Otherwise someone may by the diner
and "leave it there another 50 years," he
The mayor has said repeatedly he wants
to see the diner moved so the city can
remove the piers on which it is supported over the Owasco Outlet. He said this would
allow an unobstructed flow in the Outlet
during flood season and would remove an
eyesore that can be seen from the park
area planned along the west side of the
Outlet where the Buonocore building
Other city council members reportedly
oppose the city's purchasing the property,
saying this would set a precedent for
similar acquisition of other downtown
At least one council member has said he
does not feel the diner is as much an
eyesore as the rear of other buildings on
the east side of the Outlet.
Hunter recently bought back the diner
he previously sold, for $40,000 at a
mortgage foreclosure auction. The bid
reportedly is the same as the unpaid
balance of the mortgage he holds and
payments he made on back taxes on the
Lattimore had reported an out-of-town
concern was interested in buying the diner
and moving it.
date - PART 2 - The eating car is 30 tons of never-rust
stainless steel, and it sits on 15 tons of steel and stone piers.
; The 54-by-l6-foot diner was transported to Auburn by flat-bed
truck from Elizabeth, N.J.
; The original upholstery of the lunch car was colored rose and
gray, and the polished terrazzo marble floor has a diamond
pattern. A 50-foot stainless steel mirror is mounted on the
ceiling. A newspaper story in Auburn's Citizen-Advertiser in 1951
described the diner as "one of the most modern in the state,"
bragging that its two restrooms were lined in ceramic tile. The
restaurant was unique for its time in other ways. It had air
conditioning, gas heat and even small-size children's plates —
Hop-Along Cassidy pictured on the'boys' dishes, and Little Bo Peep
on the girls' dishes. Original owner Robert N. Hunter spent
$100,000 to buy and put up the building, which replaced
a wooden diner he ran on the same spot since the early
1940s. They don't mass-produce stainless steel diners
"like that anymore, Koegel said, and to custom-make "
one today would cost at least $800,000.
"The only ones I know like it in this area are Little
Gem Diner in Syracuse and the Fulton Diner,"
Koegel said, then adding with a smile, "but I think
this one is nicer."
; Still, Parkview Diner has lost much of its luster over the years. The
terrazzo floor has cracks; blinds
in the windows are missing; the Formica counters
are worn and idented on the edges from the rubbing
of millions of elbows.
But the place is clean, service is fast and the food
is good — a major step from six dismal years after
1978, when Hunter sold the diner and it changed
hands several times before Koegel took over last
"One of the former cooks used to play Pac-Man
while customers waited," Koegel said. "It took a lot
of hard work to remove years of grease, dirt and
Koegel has already restored some of the diner's
original features such as the terrazzo floor, which
had been covered with a cheap, linoleum tile. He
plans to replace upholstery in the-booths, and to put
new blinds in the windows.
But he won't try to fix the cracks in the floor or
the indentations in the counter, Koegel said.
"I would never re-do those — they are character," he said.
Character. Some might say the 6-foot-talI,
bearded and beefy man. who operates Parkview
Diner has his share of it, too.
William Francis Koegel, 35, started working in
restaurants at age 14, scrubbing floors and busting
tables at Sherman's Restaurant on the west side of
Syracuse. The place later burned down.
Despite no cooking experience, he was hired as a
short-order cook at B'ville Diner in Baldwinsville in
1971 — "I bluffed my way into that one," he says
but got fired in short order because he was late to
work three times.
A year later, the diner's owner gave Koegel a
break and rehired him as a cook. This time he was
punctual, and stayed on for five years and became
night cook and manager.
Koegel later was hired as chef at Jordan Diner
and Steakhouse, also owned by Parkview Diner
owner William Younis. When Younis decided he
didn't want to run both places, Koegel took over
the restaurant in Auburn.
Koegel now lives in the city of Auburn with his
wife, Trudy, who is also a short-order cook and
waitress, and the other "partner" in Partners Parkview Diner,
The restaurant — open all day except for shortened hours on Sundays,
Mondays and Tuesdays —
employs about 15 people, including a waitress and
cook who started there 25 years ago.
The diner mostly serves basic meat-and-potato
meals, but Koegel likes to feature ethnic dishes and
specialties like Polish-style cabbage rolls. He also
cuts and ties his own meats,•and he bakes old fashioned pies on
Even the prices are a bit old-fashioned: A eggs-pancake-English
muffin-coffee-juice breakfast is
$2.41; most full-course dinners are under $5.
In many ways, the Parkview Diner reflects William Koegel.
"I'm a young guy with old style, he explained.
"I've learned from old-style people.'
1/27/2001 - Slice of Auburn Up for Sale
Hunter's Dinerant price tag: $275,000
By Pam Greene
owners of Hunter's Dinerant in Auburn are looking to strike oil, and
not just the type left over from a plate of french fries and gravy, the
most popular item on the menu.
The 50-year-old authentic art deco diner is on the market and the asking price is $275,000.
They bought the building in 1986 for $48,000, according to the deed.
a fair asking price, said owner Bill Younis of Fulton, considering the
rarity of the art deco architecture on Genesee Street and steady income
of the 55-seat business. Comparatively, though, the four-story,
131-year-old Phoenix Building a block away sold for $150,000 a few
"I don't think it's so much to ask," Younis said. "I
can't tell you the figures it brings in, but it's worth more than we're
willing to sell it for. It does better than $275,000 and the price is
Younis and his family are selling, he said, because
he's 62 and ready to retire. Since founders Bob and Louise Hunter sold
the property to a relative of Younis' in 1986, the property has not
legally changed hands since, according to the property deed.
is an Auburn fixture, said Mayor Melina Carnicelli. She said she would
encourage whoever buys the property to seek making it a historical
"When I was a kid that was the place to hang out," she
said. "Every Friday night after football games, there'd be a line out
the door. I always got french fries, gravy and a cherry Coke. It should
be a tourist attraction - it's as authentic as the Schine Theater."
of diner devotees literally eat their way from diner to diner around he
country, said Michael Tomlan, director of the graduate program in
historic preservation and planning at the College of Architecture, Art
and Planning at Cornell University.
"If it's an original diner, the
reality is there aren't that many that remain," he said. "There's a
considerable amount of interest in diners and there's a network to save
as many as possible. I don't find the situation (price of the building)
in Auburn surprising. It's not surprising an owner would want to get as
much as possible from a property. It's whatever the market will bare."
manager Tracie Skellington said tourists pop in all the time.
Twenty-eight Harley-Davidson riders came in not too long ago, saying
they saw Hunter's on the Internet. Most of the customers, though, are
locals who have been coming for years.
"They come back from all
over the country," said Marie Desimone, who has been a waitress there
for 25 years. "They all come back and say, 'I used to come here when I
was a kid,' and what's the first thing they order? French fries and
The steady income comes from a pool of loyal customers who often eat there several times a day.
"I've been coming here for more than 40 years," said 62-year-old Willie Love.
Yates County -
Penn Yan -
1921 news article - Hollywood director Bert Van Tuyl had l.w. where Sampson Theatre now stands.
Richardson dining car has called Penn Yan home since 1925. Lena
and Byron Legters brought the diner to town. The diner brough
Earl and a couple of his workers to Penn Yan as the diner was built
over a kitchen, due to the unique setting of the diner. The front
side of the property is at one level, and the back side is at a lower
level, allowing the special design. This must have fascinated
Earl. The Legters did not last long and soon Carroll Bond came
out and took over the diner. In the late 1920s, he tried to get a
loan from the bank to pay off the remainnig money owed to the
Richardson builders. Lena Legters claimed ownership and the bank
balked at their committment to loaning Bond money. Bond tried
suing the bank, but that went nowhere. He did retain ownership of
1925 - Lena and Byron Legters
- Bond puts up electric sign. Diner is 30'x10'6" kitchen 10x16
downstairs. Bond moved to Tap Tavern in 1930s. Bond had diner Feb 1935.
employees: Erva Kenyon 1927; Miss Thelma Higley 1927;painted
white 1927; Miss Isabelle Caward of Dundee 1927; Dora Bradley
1934; Darrin Jones 1938; Lewis P Hopkin 1938
10/1/1935 - Winifred Richardson sold diner to Odell Jones of Dansville
6/2/1949 - Ralph and Dorothy Legg, ill health, to O'Dell Jones
1/6/1950 - Mr. and Mrs. Francis Northrup of Garfield avenue Penn Yan, owners and
managers of the Penn Yan diner, having purchased the restaurant from
Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Legg who bought it last spring and operated it
through the summer and fall. The new owners took possession December 1.
Mr. Legg, who resigned as deputy sheriff with the Yates County
Sheriff's department when he bought the diner, returned to work in
that position January 1
Schuyler County -
Watkins Glen -
think there may have been a diner built in Silver Creek in Watkins
Glen. A diner got a name Cheaga(sp?) and popped up.
5/7/1903 - lw at depot
1920 - John Robbits lw
Unknown date - Chautauqua(Cheguaga) Diner. Mrs and Mrs Clyde Smith painted, near
overhead crossing, shrubs planted, good trade from drivers of through
trucks as it maintains all night service.
3/15/1939 - Albert Ash, Sidney Palmer(Betty Blue gas stn) opened Betty Blue Diner on Watkins-Montour Rd Monday
12/9/1942 - Paul G Smith of Detroit married Helen Lucille Filipeck, mgr of Chautauqua Diner
11/07/1945 - Harry R. Hoover bought Chautauqua Diner
Montour Falls -
10/5/1938 - d.c. Jct Clinton and Catherine Sts. Diner will face new highway, William Dickson owner.
1940s - Smith's Diner, Paul G Smith
1951 - Montour Falls l.w. Bob Hoover
Tompkins County -
Ward and Dickinson diner #58
was in Ithaca after a brief stay in Cleveland, Ohio. James L Dick
opened up the diner at 234 S. Cayuga in June of 1927 and ran it less
than a year. On April 3, 1928, Louis H. Weinman would also run
the diner for less than a year. On March 21, 1929 R.M. Ferguson
would take over before Theodore R. Beam would purchase the place in
March of 1930. It's possible that Beam rented out the diner to
Donald Newbury. From roughly 1938 to 1944 Kenneth Hardenbrook and
Gerald Rich were the proprietors. Donald D. Perry had the place in
1946, LaVern A Wilcox from 1949 through 1954 and Betty MacCarrick in
1956. From 1957 to 1958 Frank Sidle and Mrs B. Rogers in 1959.
Doris Boynton and Charles Stanton in 1960 and back to Harry and
Betty Rogers in 1961 through 1963. Luella Thomas would finish off the
time the diner was open from 1964 to 1966.
James L Dick also bought another Ward and Dickinson diner,
just after the start of 1927 in April. (So this diner would have
been somewhere close to diner #100) This one he placed at 124
East Seneca Street. This diner, he ran until 1932 when it was
sold to Raymond S Young, who shortly sold the diner to John P Lown.
Lown would later buy a Ward and Dickinson sinder in Silver Creek,
New York. In 1938, Lown would sell the diner to Charles Q
Draucker Jr. George Whiting, Lawrence Wilcox, Paul and Alice
Rowland, Richard and Evelyn Manning, James Van Garder. All of these
owners had the diner for a short time in the 1940s. Lula Machen would
be the last owner in 1953.
The Diner at 1002 W State Street
started out as the R&H Diner with Floyd Rice and Oscar Hegnauer as
owners in 1937. Floyd Rice ran it the next eight or so years as Rice's
Diner. He sold to John R Ackles who ran it as the Western Diner
for a year. After this, the name would change to Wes and Les Diner with
Lester Cornish for ten years, the first three or so with Samuel W
McLain. Mrs. Hazel H Clinton would run the diner from 1959 to
1962, then Charles Cark in 1963-1964 and finally Mrs. Betty Rogers from
1965 to 1967.
There's part of the story I think I am missing
with the next two diners. The first was pictured as a Mulholland
diner and the second as a Sterling diner. But today, the first
xists and has what seems like a Sterling diner outline.
Maybe the State Diner goes back earlier.
State Diner's, at 428 W State Street, first listing is 1937 to 1944
with L Gerald Rich and Kenneth Hardenbrook as owners. L Gerald
Rich would continue until 1959 when he passed the torch to Dionysio
Papadopoulos and Elias Andritsakia. Dino Poulos took over in 1976.
and Hardenbrook's other diner, the R&H Sterling Diner was at 333 E
State Street. This was a Sterling diner. By 1946, Gerald and
Francis E Sheppard were running the place and in 1949 Margaret Anagnost
was the proprietor. It is believed this diner moved to
Cortland/Homer and became the Midway Diner.
Diner, a Swingle, at 359 Elmira road, replaced a generic refreshment
stand. William J Manos was the owner. This lasted into the
Steuben County -
was a diner for a very short time. 8/17/1927 - 32 B'Way - lc from
Elizabeth, NJ replacing a diner former on the same spot. Would be
There was a Rochester Grills diner. On 12/8/1938,
the Dansville newspaper reported: Tops Diner, Hornell's newest at 34
B'Way, shiny paint and sparkling windows. Mgt of Charles D Pryne
was a Goodell diner in town.It was placed on East Steuben Street at the
end of December in 1926. First owned by A.F. Torge of East Aurora.
- AF Torge and son Ralph Torge moving to Brawley, California to run new
dc. They sold the diner to Earl Baldwin of Lakeland, Florida.
9/17/1928 - owned since first of year, Earl Baldwin sells lc on E Steuben to RW
Boughton of North Rose, Boughton was Ward & Dickinson installer and
ran lc in Binghamton for two months
4/16/1930 - Lyman Bowles purchased lc on E Steuben, beginning of month, from George J Leone, who owned lc since Oct 1929
1932 - 1944 - Mr & Mrs Edgar House
4/3/1937 - Louis H Kennedy sells his half of CourtHouse D to his partner Mr & Mrs Edgar House(for past three yrs)
3/31/1946 - Joe Erclano ran Courthouse Diner from 1944 to 3/31/1946 before selling to Don Strait and Gerald Putnam.
4/10/1946 - Mr & Mrs Michael Putnam and Mr and Mrs Alling Watts who run Mt
Morris Diner, entered into partnership with Mr & Mrs Donald Strait
of Bath in running Court House Diner in Bath
10/1/1964 - CourtHouse Diner bought by Roberta and Eldon Hough from Strait
Fire killed the diner.
8/1/1968 - Clarence Cook rebuilt CourtHouse Diner and reopened
There was a trolley car diner at 341 W Morris at an Amoco Station.
1/3/1947 - Amoco Diner. Gail(male) M Wembon and Clarence Johnson from Mrs Ethel
Bush and Mrs Florence McGee who opened it 6 yrs ago at 341 W Morris @
8/3/1900 - new lw, Pulteney park. James Park of Binghamton in charge
10/18/1903 - Harry Van Ness remodeled his "Darkness and Dawn" into an Owl lw, rear of Harrison House on Exchange St
Sept 1904 - Exchange St lw run by John Brewer
5/30/1908 - "Billy" Martin's lw on Exchange St looknig very slick, new coat of paint
11/15/1915 - George Loghry now prop of lw on Exchange
11/21/1900 - Ed Messerschmitt granted permission to run lw on Soldier's Home grounds
1/12/1901 - Henry Fay mgr of Ed Messerschmitt's lw at Soldier's home (lw started 1/23/1900??)
8/17/1901 - "Nutty" O'Dell has charge of lw on Crook Property on Buel St, lw just moved to property from Soldier's Park
8/21/1901 - lw removed from Park to vacant lot by Crooks marble shop(on Buel St)
11/11/1914 - Buel St lw run by Burns Stephenson
1/15/1915 - Mr PJ Butler purchased Lenox lc on Buel St, "recently built by
Stephenson Lunch Co." and lately conducted by Gay & Co. Built
around Nov 1914
8/5/1916 - 10 Buel St, Lenox Lunch Car. Peter J Butle
1/26/1921 - CT Smith sold Buel St lw to Pierce and Ide of Savona
1/10/1922 - Russell Strong purchased Buel St lw
4/25/1923 - lw on Buel St moved to E Steuben by John C Hirzler
10/17/1923 - Laverne Hilboldt of Corning bought lw on Beekman lot from Mr and Mrs John C Hirzler
ca 1929 - A.E. Torge lc on East Steuben St
Unknown diner mentions in Bath
4/16/1925 - Harry Wilson lc opposite jail in Bath (Corning newspaper)
11/26/1931 - Mr Will Taylor is building a very unique traveling lc and expects to go south when completed
1933 - Davis Diner - Liberty St
3/5/1937 - AH Huyett leases lc from Claude hughes, took posession March 1
1942 - Robert Turnbull, lc on Main St (Canisteo newspaper)
time around 1916 or earlier an old barrel roof lunch car was placed in
Addison. Eugene Shannon ran it at first. He passed away
late 1919. James O'Brien ran it next. He had Kate Lachance
as his partner in the business. O'Brien sold his share to
Lachance 12/2/1921. In 1929, Kate's Lunch had Kate Manley listed
as owner. Was she the same Kate? The place became Moore's
Lunch Car for a couple of years and Ernest Shelansky bought the lunch
car from Moore 4/25/1932. Shelansky sold the lunch car to Daisy
Strait around 1942. Francis Riley and Llewellyn Towner were
mentioned on 10/25/1946 as running the lunch car for the past year.
Ended as Silva's Barber Shop some time after 1946 when the Dike was put in??
Painted Post -
There was a Liberty Dining Car in Painted Post on West High Street.
9/4/1935 - Wayne Sutfin purchased lc in Painted Post from William Fullington, emp at Dansville D for past year
- Jack Hallock, Liberty Dining Car in West High St on land owned by
Celia Gilbert. Chattels were mortgaged by Wayne Sutfin to Roy H &
Edith Stevens. Sutfin also went bankrupt
Lunch Wagons in Painted Post
5/15/1908 - Arthur Berns sells lw to brother Ray Berns
3/5/1910 - Ray Berns plans to move lw to Hammondsport when roads allow. Land for lw in Painted Post was recently sold
9/5/1913 - James McWilliams sold lw in B.C. Bassett bld to Fred Inscho
9/8/1916 - JM Butler opened lw on E Water St in lot east of PA Payne's office
5/2/1917 - JB Jones and PA Payne sold lw on E Water to Raymond Berns. Will open saturday
4/16/1919 - fire gutted Ray Berns lw on E Water
10/11/1919 - Lynn W Tenney purchased Ray Berns, E Water St lw
12/16/1919 - lc on East Water sold from Harry Cutler to Mrs Ray Berns
9/18/1922 - Ray Berns taken over lc on E Water St, prev conducted by Warren Kissbaught
9/3/1926 - lc of RG Burns on E Water St moved to a position between P.O. And Painted Post Electric Co bld
7/9/1931 - Henry Piers lc damaged by fire on West Water St, total wreck
5/11/1895 - corning has an Owl lw
4/27/1904 - A day and night lw placed on Cedar St south of Market St YMCA
9/23/1903 - HO Barker leases lw on Bridge St
ca 1903 - Mr Baxter has lw on Walnut St
4/9/1904 - Lee Carr purchased HO Barker lw at Walnut and Market
- Joseph M O'Connor lw fire, badly damaged. Cost $1000 when new. Percy
Macomber emp. Says he was at 12 East Erie in 1899 and In 1907 at
8 East Erie.
7/17/1908 - Patterson purchased lw at 8 E Erie back from Carroll which he sold several months ago
9/17/1915 - John E Patterson purchased O'Connor lw
11/28/1918 - Joseph M O'Connor bought his old wagon from Charles J Carroll
it to Charles J Carroll around 1917 who then sold it back to Joseph M
O'Connor who partnered with Timothy Driscoll 1919 to 1923. Driscoll
continued the place for a number of years. Unsure how long the lunch
3/20/1926 - Art Fogle lc opening 16 W Erie
wagon at 8 West Erie, owned by Chauncey C Smith which was announced
1/11/1905 - 1907. John Wolcott next ran the place and sold
to Frank McCloskey 5/29/1911 - December 1920.
12/8/1920 - Charles Burgett buys McCloskey lc on W Erie. Prev an employee
George Bigelow and James O'Brien 1923
LaVerne Dimmock 1925
Thomas Harper up until fire.
4/12/1929 - Thomas Harper buys Painted Post restr. Had lw 8 W Erie, appoints Welliam Welsh mgr of lw
7/23/1931 - Thomas Harper lw which was removed and stripped caught fire, being replaced by Paul's new diner
Ward and Dickinson diner - 8/5/1931 - Leon W. Paul of Bolivar bringing in a diner on flat car from Erie r/r 10.5x
41 2/3 the restaurant on wheels will continue tradition of location
which was run by McCloskey.
Rosewell Steadman and Mrs. Earlden B. Winder ran the diner from 1950 to 1953. The site would become Woolworths.
1/29/1912 - William Stanton has received a new lw from Rochester
8/20/1928 - George Trumbull back to H.S. C.G. Palmer takes over as night chef at Stantons
1/8/1927 - Stanton lc reopening after being closed for a year. Started more than
12 yrs ago. Closed when he opened hotel 11/9/1925. Hotel had counter,
that is being removed and lc will
1/12/1929 - Stanton lc. Carl Benedict leaves night chef and replaced by F. Chafee
12/11/1940 - Stanton Diner adding 12x24 kitchen $1250cost
9/13/1941 - Stanton Diner in corning, 27 months old, for sale (Silk City diner)
1944 - Izetta Randolph prop of Stanton D
1951 - Edwin Dodge owned Stanton Diner and leased to Mrs Izetta Randolph
12/9/1920 - Little John lw opened by Harvey T Adams from Meriden, CT, constructed
private car of Fall Brook (West Erie Ave) R/R Officials. Which was
known as _Little John_� car
7/8/1926 - Little John lw operated by Thomas Hopper
5/12/1928 - Little John Diner to be moved
9/1/1921 - Cowler lw in r/r yard
- Clark Brooks purchased lw of JM Franz in which Chauncey Knowlton
recently used on Bridge St, Knowlton started 5/28/1909 (Wellsboro,
9/7/1911 - Clark Brooks of Nelson has repurchased lw in Corning that he formerly owned
5/6/1924 - Charles Ross and George Oakley bought John Rocko lw on Bridge
1/25/1941 - William S Lovejoy returned to Corning after 26 yrs away, will open dc
nr Amoco stn on N Pine in March. Lovejoy acquired Schanacker's dc in
Elmira which is to be replaced
5/7/1941 - Lovejoy to open dc. Stands on east side of Pine St just at south end of
the Pine St river bridge. Seats 36 with stools and padded booths.
Composition tile floor and curtains
6/22/1914 - Thomas A Skelly sold lc at North Corning to JJ Cowley (still owned in 1920)
11/24/1923 - lw being erected on vacant lot next to Stinson's Garage by William D Taylor, open in 4-5 days
1944 - Buff's Diner Riverside, called lunch car at Corning City line, Rt 15/17
1946 - O'Neil's Diner Riverside, Charles M Travis. Formerly Buff's Diner on Pulteney st
was a Silk City diner that moved to Washington DC around 2009. It
opened briefly, but sat in storage for a long time. As of 2023,
still in storage.
9/15/1950 - Burglars have delayed the opening of Henry goodrich and Son's new diner.
1/16/1953 - Mr. and Mrs. William Gilbert
have taken over the management of
the Goodrich Diner
4/9/1963 - Mr & Mrs Henry Stanton bought Goodrich D in Avoa from William Gilberto
3/5/1964 - Goodrich D sold from Mr & Mrs Henry M Stanton(who also ran motel across street) to Mr & Mrs Clarence S Perkins who plan to name the diner Perk and Betty's Diner.
1/16/1969 - Henry Stanton has purchased it from Perk and Bette's Diner.
1991 - Brenda Remchuk
1992- 2009 Pat and Judy McMahon
2009 - Avoca Diner finds new home in nation's capital
By ROB PRICE THE COURIER-ADVOCATE
— A piece of local history could make history in the nation's capital.
The Avoca Diner, formerly known as The Goodrich Diner, has moved
to a new location on Bladensburg Road, in the northeast quadrant of
Washington, DC. The diner, located in state Route 415, was purchased
recently by two Washington DC businessmen, who moved it via tractor
trailer to its new home.
Former owners Pat and Judy McMahon of Avoca
have been operating the restaurant since they purchased it in 1992.
They put it up for sale three years ago, but no buyer surfaced.
Eventually, the McMahons decided to list it on the on-line auction site
Ebay, where it quickly became a hot piece of property.
"I didn't think I'd get anything for it," Pat McMahon said last week, "but I probably got 70 hits on Ebay."
McMahon said a sale was quickly confirmed for $20,000.
its heyday, the diner did a lively business as part of a travel plaza
that included a motel and service station. "That used to be the main
thoroghfare to Rochester," McMahon noted, adding the construction of
Interstate 390 undercut the prime location.
Bladensburg Road is a
main artery in what is known as the Trinidad neighborhood of Washington
DC. "I feel good about that, because now the diner will have traffic,"
Now known as The Capital City Diner, the restaurant is expected to open in August, according to reporting in Washinton DC media.
diner was manufactured in 1947 by the Paterson Vehicle Co., based in
Paterson, N.J. Its design, known as Silk City, was developed to
resemble the diner car of a train. It opened for business in Avoca in
1949.A year ago, McMahon said, he and his wife decided to close it
after failing to find a restaurant operator to lease it.
Capital City Diner Gets a Visit from the Past
Posted by Tim Carman on Feb. 23, 2010, at 8:11 pm
Tom and Lynn Dougherty step back in time
last time Lynn Dougherty laid eyes on Capital City Diner, it was called
the Avoca Diner, and it was run by a woman named Brenda Remchuk, a
former Corning Glass employee who decided to get into the
grease-slinging business. That was in Avoca, N.Y., in 1991.
that, Dougherty hadn’t stepped foot in the diner since 1966 when her
parents sold the business after running it for more than a decade in
But this morning, Dougherty and her husband, Tom, made the
trip from Chester, Va., to the Trinidad neighborhood to grab lunch at
the grand opening of Capital City Diner. Lynn ordered a cheeseburger
with potato salad. Tom got a tuna salad sandwich with a side of potato
“It’s right up there,” Lynn Dougherty says when I ask her to
compare the food at Cap City to the meals she enjoyed as a child at the
then Goodrich Diner, which her parents bought in the early 50s.
“It’s good food.”
That’s quite a compliment given what Dougherty had
written me earlier: that her father, a former Army cook, prepared
everything from scratch at the diner. She e-mailed:
“A lot of people started their day with a hearty breakfast at the
diner, including homemade donuts that dad made. He also made homemade
pies not with canned fillings of today, but made from scratch. He had
all his own recipes, great comfort food made with only the best and
freshest ingredients. One of my favorites was a hot roast beef sandwich
with the best gravy you have ever tasted and mashed potatoes made with
real potatoes not boxed. Goulash, chili, roast turkey, roast pork
dinners. The list goes on and on…It was our home away from home. We ate
dinner there every night.”
Dougherty was impressed with what owners
Matt Ashburn and Patrick Carl had done with the place. She thought it
looked much the same as the diner of her memories. Well, except for two
things: the bathrooms are much bigger than the little airplane-sized
toilets of yesteryear and the tiny tabletop jukeboxes are gone from the
She has very fond memories of those jukeboxes. So does her
brother, Tim Gilbert, who e-mailed Y&H earlier about a sad day in
rock ‘n’ roll history:
I remember the night I heard on the radio
Buddy Holly, Richie Valens [sic], and the Big Bopper died in a plane
crash out West and I played ‘La Bamba’ on the jukebox. There were
snowflakes coming and slowly filling up the parking lot.”
opening day, Capital City Diner received a visitor from the
1950s. Not long afterward, the co-owners heard an echo from their
diner’s very beginnings, from the late 1940s.
It was a bouquet of
flowers and a note from the son of one of the founders of the Goodrich
Diner, a tiny eatery that served the small town of Avoca, N.Y., for
decades before being uprooted last year and moved to the Trinidad
Bob Goodrich, son of co-founder Leigh Goodrich, wrote the following note to Capital City owners Matt Ashburn and Patrick Carl:
By Justin Head The Evening Tribune
Posted Mar 25, 2011 @ 11:12 AM Last update Mar 25, 2011 @ 12:46 PM
Washington, D.C. —
There’s a little piece of Steuben County history thriving in the nation’s capital.
Capital City Diner, formerly the Avoca Diner on State Route 415, is
celebrating its one-year anniversary after being renovated and
re-opened on Bladensburg Road.
“We just passed our first anniversary of being open,” said owner and operator Matt Ashburn.
Avoca Diner sat unused and deteriorating for several years until
Ashburn and his friend Patrick Carl purchased it for the bargain price
of $20,000 on eBay. They paid a reputable mover to relocate the
building and after rounds of red tape with government agencies
successfully re-opened it a year ago.
“It’s been great so far,” said
Ashburn. “When you first open up there is some bumps and you have to
get used to your staff and other things, but things are pretty smooth
now ... The response, in one word, is overwhelming.”
Carl accepted a new job and sold him his share of the business. A
29-year old analyst for the Department of Justice by day, Ashburn has
little spare time as he spends nights and weekends managing operations
with a handful of staffers. He said the diner was kept in original
condition and its historic appeal has impressed patrons.
been popular with everybody that comes through the door,” he said. “The
first words out of their mouth are, ‘Wow, this is amazing.’”
and his friend bought the diner without even seeing it with the lights
on — there was no electricity to the building when they bought it from
Pat McMahon of Avoca.
Afraid of lending to a pair of young
entrepreneurs with no prior restaurant management experience, the banks
passed on loan applications and the men drained their own savings and
borrowed money from wherever they could to buy it. It wasn’t long
before they generated almost $150,000 to make their wish come true.
moved up here to DC and there’s these new diners from the ’80s and ’90s
and even 2000, but you didn't have the old school ’40s or ’50s diner,”
said Ashburn. “If anything there should be these types of diners in DC,
the nation’s capital. That is something that people find intriguing,
that now DC has an authentic old school diner again.”
originally from Martinsville, Va., said he opened the diner because his
neighborhood had no late night food places. He keeps the diner up for
24 hours a day on the weekends.
Several people in Avoca were surprised the diner ended up where it did, but many are thankful its kitchen is still cranking.
up in Avoca and I always use to go there with my grandfather and it was
a really special place for us,” said Erika Mattoon, 26. “To have a
little part of Avoca moved to DC is really special for me.”
who contacted The Tribune about the possibility of an article, goes to
school in DC?and frequents the Capital City Diner.
“The thing is all
original — the counters, the stools, the booths — everything is still
original,” she said. “The Avoca Diner sign is actually hung on the wall
and they still have a pictures of the staff ... I know the only
renovations they had to do were to build bigger bathrooms.”
Avoca natives the 1940-era eatery brings back fond memories, of times
when the Red Goose bar crowd would fill the seats after closing and
locals would catch up with one another in passing.
grandmother, Phyllis Mattoon of Avoca, worked as a waitress at the
diner for a period of time in the early ’50s —?while it was owned by
the Goodrich family, she said.
“We had the little jukeboxes on the
booths and everything,” she said. “Friday and Saturday nights when
bands came into town it would be a packed house.”
Not much has
changed in that respect. Ashburn said the diner is often crowded and
bustling, with people often waiting for open seats. He said the
business is profitable and he plans to re-invest in it.
his diner has been visited by Jessie Ventura, an actor, ex-U.S. Navy
SEAL and the former governor of Minnesota, and several local
politicians, including Marion Barry Jr., a member of the Council of the
District of Columbia and past mayor better known for his civil rights
activism and notoriety from drug charges in 1990.
The 560 square-foot restaurant seats 36 people inside and Ashburn has plans to expand its outside eating area.
2/9/1916 - lw for sale in burned condition on Pultney St.@ William James F O'Brien of Corning
5/24/1925 - Mrs Bertha Moller purchased lc from Mrs Lewis Warren
Chemung County -
Elmira had a rich history with lunch wagons. Newspaper said there were 20 lunch wagons in 1901.
May 1894 - E Hamel(of Columbian Cafe fame) given permission to run lw in Elmira. "temperance lw" Lake at E Water
- James P Richardson established a lw in Elmira on E. Market St just
the YMCA. Charles Brooks succeeded to the business when Richardson
Syracuse. Richardson even had TJ Buckley's $5,000 tile wagon in
service for a short period of time. Richardson also had a lw at
State and Water
6/29/1899 - TH Buckley the lunch wagon manufacturer is in Elmira in route to Paris
where he intends to exhibit his "World's Fair Lunch Car"�
M. Brooks had a lunch wagon at 317 E Market, near Lake from at least
1908 to 1925. August, 1899 mentioned for a charles Brooks at this
Clarence Brooks also had a cigar stand, popcorn booth and shoe shining parlor at this location.
Floyd J. Brooks had a lunch wagon at 218 E Market at the corner of Exchange Place from at least 1912 to 1928
3/22/1912 - Floyd Brooks lc on E Market St bought land s.e corner E
Market @ Exchange Place where he hopes to move his business to
1916 - Earl Holmes worked at Brooks Bros lc in rear of Masonic Temple on E.
Market St. and later Floyd Brooks l.car at E. Market and Exchange
Howard Spaulding also worked for Floyd Brooks.
William H Maloney had a lunch wagon at 303 E Fifth from at least 1908 to 1921
William Irvine had a lunch wagon at 721.5 Lake st from at least 1912 to 1942
1915 - Lawrence Kniff, in charge of night shift at Irvine's l.c. At Lackawanna
r/r tracks cut himself throwing out rowdy customers . 721.5 Lake St.
4/28/1925 - WL Irvine permit to extend lw at 720 Lake St
Other people mentioned with lunch wagons include:
Eben Keeney at 322 S Main
Frey J Mowry at 338 E Water
10/25/1900 - Fred Mowry lw on Main nr Water explosion, badly damaged
Alonzo P Ten Broeck at 319 Clinton in 1902
Edwin H VanNorton at 431 Railroad in 1901
Edward Doyle at 431 Railroad in 1908
Ernest J Weeks at East Water c. Lake. Bert Chidsey worked at this wagon.
1902 - Earnest J Weeks and EH Van Norton combined in the lw business at 413
Railroad. Van Norton formerly ran wagon at the Queen City gardens while
Weeks is prop of wagon, Lake and E Water
1902 - Ralph W Murphy lw permitted on W Water St w. of Main
8/30/1905 - RV Robinson purchased lw at north end of Lake St bridge and will conduct it in the future
1906 - C Robinson running lw on Lake St
1899 - Enoch Little put $4000 lw and new merry go round at Eldridge Park. Zenus Carpenter night cook at this lunch wagon.
12/14/1905 - Palace lc moved from c. Lake and Fifth to E Water near Smith's Hotel
1901 - Burt Church works at lw on Railroad nr Market
10/8/1909 - HO Barker lw badly burnt. Lake St nr Lackawanna crossing
1916 - Thomas George lw next to Star Gazette Bld
1913 - Sanitary LC c. r/r @ Water Ave, Market St between State and R/r
1913 - Thomas George lw on Baldwin St, directly n of Star Gazette bld
State had a diner - The diner started out at 209 State Street with John
Sparrow running that State diner from 1928 to 1932. From here,
the State Diner moved to 214 State Street with William Pfiffer Sr as
the owner for two years. John L Carpenter ran the diner for 20 years as
Carpenter's Diner. In 1956, the diner was at 200 State Street with
LaVerne Smith in charge for a few year of the then Colonial Diner.
John Evangiles and his wife Jan ran the diner from 1959 to 1971.
Steve and Hannalore Turner ran the diner for another year before the
diner turned off the grill. The last diner seemed to be a 1940ish
O'Mahony diner with dimensions 45x15
6/12/1929 - Carl Applin and Andrew Purdy emp at John Sparrow's lc in Elmira
505 E Water had a Ward and Dickinson diner
- Mrs Ethel E Champlin ran the diner from 1935 to 1941. Albert
Jensen may have been in charge for a couple of years during this time.
Albert L Irving then ran the diner from 1941 to 1963. This
diner became an antique store before meeting its demise.
7/22/1939 - Elmira Diner of P.T. Champlin of Little Valley sold to Mr Albert Jenson of Randolph
Madison had a Silk City diner - Victoria Kozlowski was the first owner
of Vic's Diner in 1941. She may have become Mrs Victoria Mordue(or
Morse) as the owner from 1942 to 1950. Frank Niekras too over
from 1952 to 1969 and kept the name. Jas Warakomski also kept the
name as he ran the diner during 1970 to 1973. This diner would
get moved to Horseheads, the last diner out of Elmira. It still existis in 2023 as The Diner.
State had a diner - Walter G Schanacker had a diner at this location
starting in 1935. He replaced this diner with a Sterling
Streamliner. The old diner may have gone to Corrning.
He ran this diner until 1958. Lavergne C Smith was listed
as the manager 1959 to 1966. There was talk of the diner
reopening, but before that could happen, the flooding from Hurricane
Irene took the diner off its foundation and down the river.
W Market had a Kullman diner - Around 1949 a large diner came in, run
by Bernard Comerski and Lee Shumaker. The reins quickly pass to
Homer Hepworth and Carl Sutton and then to Woodrow Williams from 1953
to 1959. Milton Ebersole from the diner in 1961 and 1962 before the
diner hit the road and moved to Vestal, New York
Aug 1951 - Milton Eversole and Woody Williams of Pee-Tees, Vestal took over Mayfair Diner in Elmira
12/4/1959 - IRS seized for taxes. Mentioned that it was 64 ft long.
State had a possible diner. - Edwin and Jsoeph Lokken opened up
Lokken's Diner which ran from 1940 to 1944. This became the
Lawrence Diner with Frederick Peters and Cyril Avery running it from
1946 to 1953 and with Roy Russell taking over for Cyril from 1956 to
1962. Peters ran the diner alone up until 1968. The one
photo with this diner in the background seems to show a barrel roofed
There was, what I believe was a Mulholland built diner at
317 E Market for a short period of time. In 1926 Mrs Della M
Eggleston was listed as the owner, then Ray D Herrick, Frank J
Atchison, Thomas Wilmot and William L Irvine for short periods of time.
was a trolley car diner in Elmira. I believe at 213 Maple.
Shoestring Diner in 1946, run by Michael A Sandstone and Mrs
Annie L Biddle. Then John's Diner, run by John S Lilly and Gwen
Long from 1949 to 1955
1899 - Wicks has lw at Lake and Water
1901 - TS Watrous selling lw
3/19/1909 - SE Knapp moving to Elmira to open lw (Cornnig paper)
11/27/1925 - bp- $3k lc, to Lering Estate to erect lc at 206 State
2/20/1941 - O'Mahony selling used 11x36 diner, needs to be moved for new diner. I believe this is Carpenters.
7/5/1927 - Ray Herrick purchased lw on E Market St from MF Eggleston, located between Masonic Temple and Elks Club
1929 - Tierney dining car for sale, 117 W. Market St, needs to be moved?
Aug 1934 - For sale, R Prechil, 665 Lake St in Elmira. Had O'Mahony
Vic's Diner closed. Opened 11/9/1941. Joseph Warakonski is having it
moved to Old Ithaca Rd in Horseheads. Vic was Victoria Kosloski, sold
it to Warakonski's brother in law in 1946 (Frank Niekras). Warakonski
started working there in 1949. Took over in October 1968 when Niekras
passed away. "The others, one moved to Vestal and the bulk torn down or
allowed to fall down a bit at a time." (Elmira paper)�
March 1898 - license for another n.l.w., a White House Cafe in front of Police Hqs
on Main St. For a long time, the residents of Owego have felt loss
caused by removal of the one which was removed recently. Lucias Gray ran the lw.
2/25/1899 - lw leased by Clarence Walker. To take Monday
9/21/1900 - Charles A Shellman lw(North St) man, to open store front
5/26/1900 - C Clark building lw at Central House Barns. Will soon open nights on Main St in front of E.G. Washburn's nr Lake St.
6/30/1900 -lw alley. J.R. Sweets & G.L. Allen
There was a Ward and Dickinson diner in Owego.
It showed up in October of 1925 and that location has seen a diner ever
since. Similar to Wellsville, the building was enlarged around
the diner and nothing was left of the diner, over time.
Conway's Diner, mother, and brother Wesley from Syracuse came to help (Binghamton newspaper 1920s)
- Leon Watts of lw at Lake and Water leased a wagon at Waverly where he
will embark in business for himself (Elmira newspaper)
1904 - Ted EB Snow of Boonville running successful lc in Waverly(Rome newspaper) Still there in 1909
Aug 1905 -Neave's lw on Broad St.
2/1/1907 - Clarence Londsmann, mgr of lw
3/26/1919 - William Dunn lw nr bridge over the railroad
1898 - Walter McGuire lw at Waverly asked lw be brought to Batavia(Batavia newspaper)
A Ward and Dickinson diner
was very briefly in Waverly, but it quickly moved to Binghamton.
Joseph and Lottie Caple were the owners. I do not have a
location. Link to come soon, I hope.