Haven Brothers Diner

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Haven Brothers in 2008

Haven Brothers Diner in Providence, Rhode Island, is one of the oldest restaurants on wheels in America and was founded in 1893 (although their truck says 1888 [1]) as a horse drawn lunch wagon.[2]


In 1888,[3] Anne Philomena Haven (1842—1912), a widowed immigrant, founded the diner business with the proceeds from her husband Patrick's life insurance policy. The "lunch cart" (as the family called it) was purchased in Worcester, Massachusetts. It was originally a horse-drawn wagon. Anne's daughter, Catherine Gannon, and Catherine's husband Dennis Gannon continued to run the diner with the help of their young sons William Gannon and John Gannon. Dennis continued to run the business until he sold it to his daughters, Catherine, Anne, Tibertus, and Marian. The Haven family finally sold the business in 1953 to the Mollicone family, and later owners included Jack Ferry, and currently, the Giusti family.[2] Every evening at 4:30 p.m., the proprietor wheels the 1949 Fred W. Morse diner car (the third wagon in the diner's history) to the corner of Dorrance and Fulton streets next to the Providence City Hall and Kennedy Plaza.[4] After it closes, the diner is wheeled away to Federal Hill.

Once in its history, Haven Brothers set up shop in a location far from Providence. On April 9, 2008 the diner was brought to Mid-town Manhattan and parked outside the NBC Studios at 30 Rockefeller Plaza for the Today Show. Hosts Meredith Vieira and Matt Lauer (both of whom had worked at the NBC10 studios in Providence two blocks from Havens Brothers time-honored location beside Providence City Hall) had each—independently—chosen it as their favorite "old-time" diner. http://shenews.projo.com/2008/04/haven-bros-dine.html

It was also featured in a Providence-themed episode of Man v. Food Nation.

Fictionally, it was featured in the animated television show Family Guy during the famous "I Have James Woods" song and in 2014 the film Dumb and Dumber To .


  1. ^ http://wsav.membercenter.worldnow.com/story/25207326/documentary-tells-story-of-haven-bros-diner-in-providence
  2. ^ a b Seth Brown, Rhode Island Curiosities:Quirky Characters, Roadside Oddities, and Other Offbeat Stuff(Guilford, CT: Globe Pequot Press, 2007), ISBN 0-7627-4338-7
  3. ^ Elliott, Debbie (July 8, 2006). "Haven Brothers: A Diner Tradition in Providence". All Things Considered. NPR. Retrieved 2011-04-26. 
  4. ^ Randy Garbin, Diners of New England (Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books,2005), 1993 ISBN 0-8117-3141-3

External links[edit]

41°49′26.5″N 71°24′45″W / 41.824028°N 71.41250°W / 41.824028; -71.41250