Jerry O'Mahony Diner Company

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Summit Diner in Summit, New Jersey, is a prototypical "rail car" style diner. Built by the O'Mahony Company in 1938.
Collin's Diner, North Canaan, Connecticut, USA
Mill Pond Diner, Wareham, Massachusetts
Seaplane Diner, Providence, Rhode Island

The Jerry O'Mahony Diner Company of Elizabeth, New Jersey, was a manufacturer of roadside diners from 1917 to 1952. The company produced some 2,000 of the long, narrow, primarily metal buildings, perhaps more than any other firm.[1] Prefabricated in a factory and trucked to their locations, the diners resemble and are often confused with railroad rolling stock. The company's motto was "In our line, we lead the world".


Jerry O'Mahony (1890–1969) of Bayonne, New Jersey, is credited by some[by whom?] to have made the first "diner".[2] In 1912, the first lunch wagon built by Jerry and Daniel O'Mahoney and John Hanf was bought for $800 by restaurant entrepreneur Michael Griffin and operated at Transfer Station in Hudson County, New Jersey. The wagon helped spark New Jersey's golden age of diner manufacturing.[3]

It is estimated that about 20 remain in the United States as of 2022.[4]


United States[edit]


Bishop's 4th Street Diner, Newport Rhode Island, closed in 2022
  • Bishop's 4th Street Diner, in Newport, Rhode Island, was in continuous use in Newport from 1967 to 2022.[13] Previously located on Route 6 in Swansea, Massachusetts as "The Princeton Diner."[4] It was moved to Admiral Kalbfus Road in Newport in 1967 as "The Galley Diner," then "The 4th Street Diner" (a tongue-in-cheek name, since no 4th Street exists in Newport).[4] In 1998, renamed "Bishop's 4th Street Diner" after a new owner.[4] The diner closed in 2022 to make way for a Seasons Market and gas station.[4][14] After its closure, the diner was sold in October 2022 and moved to New Hampshire, where new owners plan to eventually reopen it as a restaurant.[15]

Outside the United States[edit]

Overseas examples include:

  • The former Murphy's Diner from Cambridge, Massachusetts, now the '50s American Diner in Swadlincote, South Derbyshire, in the United Kingdom.
  • A 1947 model operated as The Excellent Diner in Westfield, New Jersey, until it closed in 1995; shipped to Germany, it now operates at Disneyland Paris as Café des Cascadeurs (Café of the Stuntmen).

Pre-war Streamline Moderne-style diners[edit]

At least 26 pre-war Streamline Moderne-style O'Mahony diners (built between 1932 and 1941) still existed as of 2015.[16] These include the smaller 50' × 10' Mickey's Diner serial number 1067 in Saint Paul, Minnesota, which is one of several listed on the National Register of Historic Places; the 40' × 16' Collin's Diner[17] serial number 1103 in North Canaan, Connecticut; and the 1938 Summit Diner in Summit, N.J. The Road Island Diner (O'Mahony Dining Car #1107) was added to the National Register of Historic Places by the National Park Service on August 21, 2009.[18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Offitzer, Karen (2002). Diners. New York, NY: New Line Books. p. 46. ISBN 1-57717-052-0.
  2. ^ p.16 Westergaard, Barbara A Guide to New Jersey Rutgers University Press
  3. ^ Gabriele, Michael C. (May 2018). "Jersey Gems". New Jersey Monthly. p. 43.
  4. ^ a b c d e Barrett, Scott (12 August 2022). "As customers say goodbye to Bishop's 4th Street Diner a new owner is in the works". The Newport Daily News. USA Today. Archived from the original on 12 August 2022. Retrieved 12 August 2022.
  5. ^ "Miss Wakefield Diner, Sanbornville, New Hampshire".
  6. ^ "Security Check Required". Retrieved October 21, 2017.
  7. ^ "Miss America Diner". Retrieved October 21, 2017.
  8. ^ "Shawmut Diner donated to Bristol County House of Corrections for job training". May 6, 2014. Archived from the original on 13 August 2018. Retrieved October 21, 2017.
  9. ^ Butko, B., Patrick, K., Weaver, K.R., Breuil, J., Diners of Pennsylvania, Stackpole – Mechanicsburg (2nd. Ed. 2011), p.187
  10. ^ "In the News: Mill Pond Diner". Diner News and History. 11 February 2009. Archived from the original on 22 November 2014. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
  11. ^ a b c d "The Best Diners in New England". Visiting New England. Archived from the original on 21 April 2020. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
  12. ^ Wikipedia
  13. ^ "'We're gonna fight to the end': Fate of Newport diner up in the air as landowner submits plan for demolition". 2 November 2021. Retrieved 26 November 2021.
  14. ^ "'If love could save us, we'd have no problem at all': Historic Newport diner ordered to leave property or risk demolition". 23 November 2021. Archived from the original on 23 November 2021. Retrieved 26 November 2021.
  15. ^ Amanda, Milkovits. "From the City by the Sea to the mountains of New Hampshire: Beloved Newport diner moves north - The Boston Globe". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 26 November 2022.
  16. ^ "A classic Jersey diner comes to an end - Di Ionno". March 2015. Retrieved October 21, 2017.
  17. ^ "Welcome to the Collin's Diner". Retrieved October 21, 2017.
  18. ^ Garbin, Randy. "RoadsideOnline Diner Finder". Coffee Cup Media. Retrieved March 28, 2011.