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What makes a diner a diner? Is it the sheen of steel and the sizzle of bacon? Or is it a feeling of community and comfort?
It's all this and more.
From their humble 19th century beginnings, diners have thrived as a part of a rich, uniquely American landscape. In 1872, Walter Scott, a newspaper pressman, began selling prepared food from a converted horse-drawn wagon parked outside the Providence Journal. Scott's wagon was so successful others copied him and an industry was born. Eventually more than thirty dinning car builders emerged nationwide. Indoor seating and meals served around the clock were key to the evolution from "lunch car" to "diner". By the 1970's, many diners, including The Post Road Diner (built in 1947 by Paramount Diners), were remodeled in an effort to look more modern. Stainless steel exteriors were covered with stone or brick. By the '80's, a slow but growing nostalgic fondness for classic diners began and continues to this day. Many bricked-over diners are now being lovingly restored through the great efforts of owners who appreciate the value of their classic original buildings. Diners would not be beloved icons, however, without tireless workers who put in long hours cooking, waiting and making customers feel like regulars even if it's their first visit.
What makes a diner a diner?
People, love and "food so great, you'll lick your plate".