Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Endangered NJ Diners

Jersey Diners
I came across another blogger who writes about endangered NJ, but his focus is on diners.

Kevin Patrick has only posted twice so far on this important and vanishing aspect of New Jersey, and I hope he will start again. He did a post on a group of diners and another on his last cup of coffee at the Newton Diner.

If you think this is trivial, note that when Preservation New Jersey released their Ten Most Endangered Historic Sites list it included “Historic Diners of New Jersey.”

There's no doubt in my mind that the Jersey diner is a part of our state culture, lifestyle and history. There are about 400 diners in the state that were were also manufactured here. Diner aficionados know them by the manutacturers like O’Mahony, Paramount, Kullman, Fodero, the Paterson Vehicle Company, Mountain View, Manno, Musi, and Swingle.

I little digging online turned up that Kevin is the co-author of Diners of Pennsylvania and is working on a New Jersey volume.

Two diners on his list that I know are the Little Falls Diner and the Mack Diner.

The Little Falls Diner is still at 9 Paterson Ave. in Little Falls (Passaic County). It is a 1946 Kullman diner from the late-1940s. It was open when I first came across it, but has been closed and abandoned for about 20 years. You wonder how it survives the wrecking ball. It actually has a good location right on the sidewalk with lots of parking behind it and within walking distance of the tiny "downtown" of Little Falls.

The Mack Diner (150 French St. New Brunswick) is a wartime 1941 Fodero diner that resembles the still active Summit Diner. I remember from my Rutgers undergraduate days. It became a record store after that, but was closed around 2005. I'm not sure what its current status might be. Are you in that area? Post a comment.

Lots to read (and watch) about diners...

The American Diner Cookbook
American Diner Then and Now

Jersey Diners
Jersey Diners

Diners of Pennsylvania

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