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Roadside explores the back road and Main Streets of America. Our recipe for an American renaissance: Eat in diners, ride trains, shop on Main Street, put a porch on your house, live in a walkable community.

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Diner Finder Updates

Route 9 Diner
Route 9 Diner
Name: Route 9 Diner
Description:

Installed as flagship diner of planned chain of Sit Down Diners, and second in the operation after purchase of existing diner in Danbury, Connecticut. Stunning retro design and generally popular, but it closed in early 2003. Reopened as Route 9 Diner i ...
State: MA

Memphis Belle Diner
Memphis Belle Diner
Name: Memphis Belle Diner
Description:

Whereabouts unknown. 

Originally located on Riverdale Road in West Springfield. At some point, it was purchased or leased by the Air Force and moved up to a location in the Mt. Holyoke range on Route 116 known as "The Notch" to service the ...

Bridgeville Diner
Bridgeville Diner
Name: Bridgeville Diner
Description:

Moved from location, March, 2014. On the move as this is written. 

Large, poorly maintained diner. Classic iconic diner styling. Closed in 2007.


State: DE
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Latest News

  • An open letter to Phil and Celeste Paleologos

    By Randy Garbin / 2014-03-30 20:17:14
    Dear Phil and Celeste: I read the sad news of your impending retirement from the diner business, and I'm sorry to see the end of an illustrious era. As one of the earliest and most ardent supporters of Roadside, I will always be grateful to you and Celeste and proud
    Read More
  • Rosebud Diner Gutted

    By Randy Garbin / 2014-02-17 14:45:34
    That disturbance in The Force we all felt last week had nothing to do with the recent weather. It came from the impact of sledgehammers upon the interior of the Rosebud Diner in Somerville, Massachusetts.  Reader Beck Prigot sent us photos she took peeking through the windows of the exceedingly
    Read More
  • Lights out at our Facebook page

    By Randy Garbin / 2014-02-15 17:24:42
    Facebook's latest change to its news feeds have rendered any effort to spread our message there rather pointless. According to this Business Insider article, Facebook made a major change to its feeds that all-but-require that we pay to promote our posts or else fewer than 5% of our "likes" will
    Read More
  • Ten Oldest Diners?

    By Randy Garbin / 2014-02-04 18:29:18
    Journalist Nancy Ayala recently asked me for my list of the ten oldest operating diners. Over the years, I've received many requests like this, and usually if it has anything to do with exact dates, I hedge as much as I can. Many times the actual records of a diner's
    Read More
  • Another Jersey diner gets date for demo

    By Randy Garbin / 2013-12-20 13:53:59
    When was the last time we saw a vintage diner restored and reopened in New Jersey? After thinking about this for a few minutes, the best answer I have is the Bay Way Diner in Linden in 2006, a tiny, 8-stool affair that gave "Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives" its start.
    Read More
  • The Kickstarted Diner

    By Randy Garbin / 2013-11-26 14:26:20
    A curious development has unfolded in Portsmouth, New Hampshire in the past week. The owners of the proposed Roger's Red Liner Diner led by Roger Elkus has initiated a Kickstarter campaign for their diner, currently under construction and restoration. Mr. Elkus also owns a small regional chain of coffee shop/deli, "fast casual"
    Read More
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Pittsburgh Revisited

No, I can't seem to get the 'Burgh off my mind. This year I took the train from Philadelphia, a glorious seven-hour ride through the Pennsylvania wilderness to the city that at one time declared February 26, 2001 as "Roadside Day" for Pittsburgh. Unlike past visits, I also took the opportunity to return to the Priory Inn on the city's North Side. In Issue 31, I waxed ebuliently about how Graff family restored and — pardon the pun — resurrected this precious little slice of the city.

In January of this year, the Priory nearly doubled its size by restoring the adjascent apartment building after it had suffered a fire. The end result makes the Priory twice as nice. Now at 42 rooms, it also can offer a bar, a complimentary breakfast, and a fitness center. My single room with a twin bed overlooking the courtyard cost $99, a reasonable sum in comparison to other lodgings in the immediate vicinity.

Other general impressions:

The weekend I chose saw a perfect storm of events. The city hosted the Three Rivers Arts Festival at the Point, a downtown Jazz festival, the Cirque du Soleil, and the Philadelphia Phillies came to town to take on the Pirates. As a result, I've never seen the city so active.

The Strip District, which is essentially a year-round arts festival, continues to thive. The sidewalks are so busy, you often get forced into the street. Wholey's Market remains a premier attraction on the Strip, and it singlehandedly rivals anything you might see at the Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia or Quincy Market in Boston.

With the demise of the ill-fated Fifth and Forbes retail project, downtown remains a hodge-podge of retail and dining. Market Square and anything along the Allegheny seem to do well. But the blocks that the Fifth and Forbes project would have obliterated don't show much life at the moment.

Be careful if you take a cab from the Amtrak station. The cabbies there didn't seem to know much about the city. The Priory is a 1.2 mile walk from the station, but one cabbie wanted to charge me $20 for the ride. I took a hike.

This slide show will update over the next few days as I add more images.

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