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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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Sports stadium subsidies kill Main Street

Public Radio station WNYC in New York recently ran this piece about the economic spinoff yet to come to the neighborhood surrounding the new Yankee Stadium. When the Yankees and the City of New York  proposed the new stadium, they argued in favor of more than $350 million in subsidies and tax breaks reasoning that the business from the fans would more than make up for the outlay. Trouble is, the new sports arenas function much like many of the new casinos we see sprouting up all over the country: Each one is designed to keep customers and their money within the building.

Now, it's no secret that I'm a Yankees hater, but I oppose spending any public money on professional sports facilities. These are private, profit-making enterprises and should be financed with private investment. Study after study show that public financing of stadiums show no positive financial return for the governments that pay for them.

As this article shows, the problem gets worse because the surrounding businesses not only do not see any additional business, the City's ill-considered actions have the opposite effect.

NEW YORK, NY — The first World Series in the new Yankee Stadium begins today. In the third part of our Main Street series, WNYC returns to the shopkeepers on 161st in the Bronx.

They’ve seen their businesses suffer in the shadow of the new stadium, and the playoffs didn’t improve matters much. Many of these shops expected to do better with the new stadium. But WNYC’s Ailsa Chang takes a look at how the new Yankee Stadium is getting Yankee fans to spend more money inside rather than outside the ballpark.

REPORTER: Eddie Morrison has been coming to Yankee Stadium for 30 years, but right now, he’s chomping on the fanciest nachos he’s ever bought at a game. He’s sitting next to Gate 6, in the brand new Hard Rock Café.

MORRISON: It should say THE BRONX Hard Rock Café, not just the Hard Rock Café. Because this is the Boogie Down Bronx, so you gotta show respect.

REPORTER: It may be the Bronx, but those nachos just set him back 13 dollars.

MORRISON: That’s just a part of the tradition. You have to uphold the tradition of buying very expensive food at the ballpark.

REPORTER: And there are more than a hundred separate spots in this stadium where you can spend lots of money to uphold that tradition. They’re mostly big chains – like Nathan’s hotdogs, Johnny Rockets and Carvel Ice Cream. Yankee fan George Figueroa says he forgets he’s at a ballpark.

FIGUEROA: You walk around and it’s like you not even in a game. You walk around and it’s like you in a mall. You have whole bunch of stuff you could do. You can buy food, you can buy merchandise – whatever. It, like, takes you away from reality. That’s a good thing. I mean, we don’t have that in the Bronx. We don’t have a big mall to walk around, so this is our mall right now.

REPORTER: But that’s the problem. Businesses just a couple blocks down 161st street didn’t think they’d be competing against a new mega-mall. Abdul Traore is managing a near-empty store called Jeans Plus. It sells Yankee souvenirs – many of them identical to the ones sold at the stadium, but about 30 percent cheaper. Traore’s been sitting on a stool by the door during the playoffs, as if waiting for customers to come in.

TRAORE: This playoff is different. Totally different. Like Saturday, I stay here until two o’clock in the morning – from the time the game start until two o’clock in the morning. I don’t even make thousand dollars.

Read the full story here.

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