Valentine Diner

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Valentine diner on old Route 66 in Valentine, Arizona

A Valentine Diner was a prefabricated mail order small diner produced in Wichita, Kansas after the Great Depression.[1] The concept was created by Arthur Valentine in the 1930s, who had experience operating lunch rooms.[2] Originally the diners were manufactured by the Ablah Hotel Supply Company.

In 1947, manufacturing was taken over by the Valentine Manufacturing Company.[3] After World War II and the implementation of the Interstate Highway System in the U.S. in the late 1950s, prefabricated diners saw a boom in business as motorists took to the roads in greater numbers for longer journeys and would stop for a meal.[4] Valentine Diners were produced until the 1970s, and several survive as operating business (sometimes as a restaurant, sometimes as other businesses) around the United States today. A few such as have become historical roadside attractions, such as along historic Route 66.[5]

At least twelve different Valentine Diners styles were produced.[6] Diners can be identified by either their wall safe, which will have a Valentine logo (a heart with an arrow through it), or the Valentine diner steel serial number plate, which has the word “Valentine” written on it.


  1. ^ Harris, Chris (2009). East from FRISCO - on the Trail of America's Soul. Cambridge, UK: Foundry Publishing Group. ISBN 978-1-4461-5696-4.
  2. ^ Kansas Historical Society (July 2014). "Arthur Hoyt Valentine". Kansas Historical Society. Retrieved 7 September 2018.
  3. ^ Kansas Historical Society (July 2014). "Valentine Diners - Business". Kansas Historical Society. Retrieved 7 September 2018.
  4. ^ Sisson, Patrick (May 30, 2017). "Diners, the original prefab success story". Curbed. Retrieved 7 September 2018.
  5. ^ Norah, Jessica. "Route 66 Itinerary: The Ultimate American Road Trip". Independent Travel Cats. Retrieved 7 September 2018.
  6. ^ Kansas Historical Society (July 2014). "Valentine Diners - Identifying". Kansas Historical Society. Retrieved 7 September 2018.