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Witzel material[edit]

The text here (and also at American diner) is an excerpt from The American Diner "©1998 Michael Karl Witzel", published in 1998 by MBI Publishing Co., Osceola, WI. The uploader claimed: "All Rights Reserved, reproduced with author's permission. Diner image courtesy of".

I have e-mailed Mr. Witzel at the e-mail address given on his web page If he doesn't respond and authorize this posting, this text will have to be reverted again. Lupo 21:39, 3 Sep 2004 (UTC)

All right, I have indeed received a confirmation e-mail from Mike Witzel:

Date: Fri, 3 Sep 2004 14:41:22 -0700 (PDT)
From: Mike Witzel
Subject: Re: Diner article on Wikipedia
To: [[User:Lupo|Lupo]]'s e-mail address elided


Yes, I am the copyright holder of that text.
Yes, it is reproduced with my persmission.
Yes, I am aware of the GNU Free Documentation License.



Michael Witzel

The article is fair game now! :-) Lupo 21:58, 3 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Mike, why did you remove your text again? Lupo 07:22, 6 Sep 2004 (UTC)

diner restaurants[edit]

Does anyone else come from an area that uses diner to describe actual restaurants? In New York City, the terms diner and coffee shop are almost interchangeable, and none of them look like rail cars (because we don't have space for them). Cantara 07:28, 21 September 2005 (UTC)

Yeah, diners are pretty common in Chicago, Houston, and Atlanta, and are quite distinct from coffee shops. Diners usually have more of a focus on the food (cheap, hearty, and greasy; burgers, pancakes, and so on), and have a working-class image, while coffee shops have an upper-class/artsy image, and primarily serve coffee with some light snacks. Perhaps the claim that they're characteristic "especially in New Jersey and other areas of the Northeast" is incorrect? I've certainly never heard that diners are particularly associated with the northeast. They're pretty ubiquitous, and if I had to pick a specific region to associate them with, I'd probably pick the midwest. --Delirium 07:25, 2 January 2006 (UTC)

In response to the statement above, New Jersey alone is responsible for 1/3 of all the world's diners, as it contains 600 diners collectively. Of the few biggest diner manufacturers still in operation today, no less than six hail from New Jersey, and others hailing from New York as well as Massachusetts. They are indeed characteristic to New Jersey as well as other parts of the northeast, perhaps moreso, more oft than any other part of the country. 20:47, 2 May 2006 (UTC)Robbie

Yeah, I think the intro paragraph should be modded to note that there is both a narrow and a broad meaning. also, I don't think "mobile lunch" is a phrase used by, well, hardly anyone; the link should be "lunch wagon". Akb4 12:02, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

External Links[edit]

The following link is blatant commercial spam imho which adds little or nothing to the article --rather, it detracts from it and wastes your time clicking and reading. I have removed it from the external links section:

*Dinermite Diners website

There are many lovingly compiled sites (and even books) extolling diners and diner culture, which could easily be candidates for inclusion in the links section. Being only an occasional editor here, I'll let those more experienced and/or knowledgeable about this topic decide which ones merit inclusion, but I recognize a self-serving commercial link when I see one. Dinermite does not deserve inclusion here, except possibly in a new section to be added concerning commercial developments and franchising in Diners, but I'd put that about 99th on the list of things worth adding at this point.

One book I actually have, and would recommend, is Diners, Bowling Alleys and Trailer Parks (A. Hurley) but there are numerous others that deal solely with Diners, which I'm not familiar with.

Missing link between mobile food vendors and diners[edit]

The only one I know of is the Haven Brothers Diner. This diner is the trailer of a tractor trailer which, at 4:30pm (most days) pulls up to the street corner by city hall in Providence, RI (USA), plugs its neon sign into a lamp post, and opens for business. Inside are perhaps four or five stools at a counter, though most people get their food to-go. See I just don't have the time to add this at present, but thought someone else might want to. --Badger151 02:37, 24 October 2006 (UTC)

Diner surname[edit]

haha my last name is Diner. I wounder if I sould include that in the article?

Please learn to spell; learn to sign. ¡ ¿ [[ %7e%7e%7e%7e ]][edit]

Please learn to spell; learn to sign. ¡ ¿ [[ %7e%7e%7e%7e ]]

Disambiguation pages frequently include names.

[[ hopiakuta | [[ [[%c2%a1]] [[%c2%bf]] [[ %7e%7e%7e%7e ]] -]] 07:22, 11 December 2006 (UTC)


Some method should be employed to edit in that diner style restaurants have been built in Arizona, California, et al. I do have the impression that some are in Alaska.

Thank You.

[[ hopiakuta | [[ [[%c2%a1]] [[%c2%bf]] [[ %7e%7e%7e%7e ]] -]] 07:22, 11 December 2006 (UTC)


did any of mchale's work depict diners? If not, then I suspect that the trivia item referring to which diner he liked should be moved to the article about him; we can't list every notable person's favorite diner on the diners page... -- Akb4 21:02, 3 February 2007 (UTC)

OK, moved it to the mchale talk page. -- Akb4 20:35, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

"Dinor" spelling[edit]

Can someone add something about the "Dinor" spelling -- commonly found in Northwest PA Mfullererie (talk) 04:43, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

Greasy Spoon[edit]

I have only heard this term in the UK, and it's quite jarring how the article has clearly been written from an American point of view at the top and an English point of view towards the end. While the US and UK diner (or greasy spoon) may be similar in character, I really think the cultural perception is vastly different. Besides, greasy spoons already have their own article, the content should be moved there.

emily was here lololololololololololololololololololol —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:49, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

Diner pictures[edit]

I've been slowly working on photographing many of the New England diners, and putting the images here. If anyone sees any there that would be good for this article, please feel free to either upload & add them, or let me know and I'll upload & add them.Improbcat (talk) 15:55, 8 August 2008 (UTC)


I live in Oregon, and I've never heard of the word "Diner" having any finer meaning than what is referred to in this article as a "Diner Restaurant". Wherein lies the requirement that a "proper" diner be prefabricated, or look like a rail car? Why would that be special? Is there a citation to be had here? Jesset77 (talk) 22:31, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

I agree. To me, while there is a classic "diner look" (a long counter with stools, usually lots of exposed stainless steel and 50's nostalgia) which is probably taken from the prefab diners, diners are defined by the menu (classic American; sandwiches, breakfast around the clock, etc.) rather than the architecture. Maybe in NJ and Long Island, diner only refers to prefab diners, but this is not the case in the rest of country. The article states "Some people apply the term not only to the prefabricated structures, but also to restaurants that serve cuisine similar to traditional diner cuisine". I believe the menu based definition is the more common usage of the term, and "some people" may use the term only to refer to prefabricated structures. I'd like to see a citation at the minimum for usage being restricted to prefab diners, or perhaps this should be split out into a separate article on the architecture of diners. Greasy spoon does seem to be pretty much synonymous with diner in the menu sense (although somewhat perjorative). Searching Google maps for "diner" where I am (St. Louis) yields a couple dozen "diners" none of which are housed in a prefab diner building. A couple other sources; the restaurant guide site, list "diner" as one of the types of cuisine you can search for. has as definitions, "a restaurant built like a [railroad dining car]" as well as "a small, informal, and usually inexpensive restaurant."

The emphasis on diners being prefabricated seems unwarranted, perhaps reflecting a regional (NJ/Long Island) usage rather than a more general usage of the term. The Greasy spoon article covers diners in the sense I'm familiar with, but could also be seen as a duplicate of this article. (talk) 21:27, 18 November 2009 (UTC)

It probably is a regional thing, but as the article notes, diners originated in the Northeastern US. Originally many were made from railroad cars or trolley car, and the pre-fabricated buildings for diners retained that style, though often wider than a regular railroad car. At least in the Northeast, what distinguishes a diner from a regular restraunt is that distinctive shape and style. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:14, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

Having lived in New Jersey all my life, and having eaten at many a diner, I was never aware that prefab construction was a necessary criterion for usage of the word "diner". Construction of diners varies heavily from town to town. Preference to design and time period, or imitation of a time period, have more to do with the ostensible construction process than anything else. I've also never in my life heard of or seen a "railroad car" diner, or any sort of eatery with such a design. My girlfriend reading over my shoulder informs me we do have these around here, they're just dressed up to not at all resemble train cars, and many are designed with that layout in mind but expanded upon and a great deal larger than a train car. If there were a unanimously agreed upon definition for diners around here, it would be "any restaurant lacking a well-known corporate brand name, commonly family run, open 24 hours, and serving traditional cheap and hearty American food commonly grilled or fried". Pancakes, waffles, eggs, burgers, club sandwiches, and coffee are ubiquitous and generally perceived as the better things to order, along with ethnic cuisines (Greek, Italian, Polish, Jewish, etc.) as influenced by local populations and the proprietors. Plenty of diners have "dinner foods" on the menu, such as steak, seafood, or pasta dishes, but these are not as popular. These are all things you think of when it comes to diners around here, the manner of construction and the apparent aesthetic aren't even considered, so long as the function is served. Also, a common understanding in New Jersey is that a diner is not a true diner unless it is open 24 hours, and that the usage of the word "diner" in the establishment's name implies that it is open 24 hours, 7 days a week. "If it's not open 24 hours it's not a diner, it's just a restaurant". This may just be a New Jersey-ism, but it's a pretty common expectation here and in eastern/southeastern Pennsylvania. (talk) 19:11, 18 July 2012 (UTC)

Diners in New Jersey or Pennsylvania[edit]

Of the 50 diners in the Category:diners, only one is in New Jersey, and none of the diners are in Pennsylvania. Most of the diners listed are in New York, New England, and mid-western or western states. Many of the New England diners are listed in the National Historic Landmarks, and therefore are automatically notable. It seems to me that it is possible to create articles on New Jersey and Pennsylvania diners with adequate secondary sources, making them notable and able to withstand deletion nominations. What do other editors think? --DThomsen8 (talk) 14:53, 10 January 2010 (UTC)

Dubious about the "American Diners Association"[edit]

I went to Google the "ADA" and found nothing validating the claim of this organization that was theoretically founded in 1943. They may have existed in 1943 but they don't exist now. Therefore, this should be re-worded or removed entirely.

I also agree with the previous person regarding NJ/NY diners. If you're going to put a lot of focus to NJ/NY as home of the Diner, at least put a few good fotos up of famous joints. (White Mana for example should be the de-facto default image!) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:35, 27 August 2010 (UTC)

See [1]] for the Association of American Diners. --DThomsen8 (talk) 12:12, 6 August 2011 (UTC)

Rosie's Diner[edit]

I recently recreated and expanded the article on what has been called "the most famous diner in America" by the New York Times. I'll leave it up to the regular editors of this article to include some appropriate mention of the location of the Bounty paper towel commercials of the 1970s (and later). Imzadi 1979  00:45, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

Portland's food carts[edit]

How about a link to the article about Portland's Food_carts? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Tdkehoe (talkcontribs) 23:28, 11 December 2011 (UTC)

Origin as horse drawn "lunch wagons" OR "railway dining cars"?[edit]

I have added a "contradiction" tag as it is unlikely that diners originated from BOTH. (talk) 15:10, 4 April 2012 (UTC) It looks as though the contradiction was fixed. --Jaboyce (talk) 18:51, 17 September 2012 (UTC) I changed my mind, it is still contradictory. --Jaboyce (talk) 18:57, 17 September 2012 (UTC)

Diners originated as horse drawn carts. They were not railroad dining cars. That said, looking for an inexpensive building, some diner owners bought retired railroad or streetcar stock and turned them into restaurants. Typically, they were not very sound structurally or of the quality of a true diner from one of the well known manufacturers. A few dining car-trolley car diners do still exist. --IPBiographer (talk) 02:47, 20 August 2013 (UTC)


The article currently contains the line "Charles Palmer received the first patent (1891) for the diner." I'd like to see more information about this and a citation. A Google Patent search for patents issued in 1891 containing the name Charles Palmer yields no results. [2] --Trevor Burnham (talk) 16:57, 25 August 2012 (UTC)

I did a patent search today and found US Patent 458738, issued Sep 1, 1891, to Charles H Palmer for a Night Lunch Wagon. I am not sure this qualifies as the first patent for a diner, but it does exist. --Jaboyce (talk) 18:48, 17 September 2012 (UTC)

Commercial opportunism?[edit]

Is the reference to Dennys in the lead paragraph too blatant? So what if Dennys got on the dinner bandwagon, or is there a stronger cultural aspect in the US that makes it worthy of such a prominent position? (talk) 23:20, 17 July 2013 (UTC) oops, was logged out, that was me ˥ Ǝ Ʉ H Ɔ I Ɯ (talk) 23:22, 17 July 2013 (UTC)

Agreed. And, it doesn't look sourced anyway. Delete?--Vistawhite (talk) 04:09, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
As I consider this, I'm inclined to delete the mention of it in the article itself. There are lots of restaurants that mimic the diner style and there's no reason to call out Denny's specifically. And, the bit in the article has no sources cited. I think I'll wait a bit to see if the language gets cleaned up to sound less promotional and sources added...if that doesn't happen I'll be happy to delete that part of the article.--Vistawhite (talk) 22:50, 18 July 2013 (UTC)