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History of the Diner

"the runaway"

The Runaway

Diners attract a wide spectrum of local populations, and are generally small businesses. From the mid-Twentieth century onwards, diner restaurants have been seen as quintessentially American.

A diner is a basically a prefabricated restaurant characteristic of North America, especially in the New Jersey, the Midwest, in New York City, Pennsylvania, and in other areas of the Northeastern United States, although examples can be found throughout the United States, Canada and parts of Western Europe. Some people consider diners not only the prefabricated structures, but also to restaurants that serve similar cuisine to traditional diner fare even if they are located in more traditional types of buildings. Diners typically offer a wide range of foods, mostly American, and Greek with a casual atmosphere, a counter, and ooften have late operating hours. “Classic American Diners” are often characterized by an exterior layer of stainless steel—a feature unique to diner architecture with a hint of Art Deco.

The very first diner was created around 1870 by Walter Scott, aka Witzel. Scott, who worked at a printing press, decided to sell food from a horse pulled wagon (Sawyer). Scott would sell his food to night workers and men who frequented clubs. He decided his venture was successful enough that he quit his job to sell his food full time. His diner can be considered the first diner with walk up windows which were located on each side of the cart.

Commercial lunch wagon production began in Worcester Massachusettes in 1887 by Thomas Buckley. Buckley was best known for his “White House Cafe” wagons. The first patent for the diner was issued in 1891. Buckley built “fancy night cafes” and “night lunch wagons” in the Worcester area until 1901.

With the help of Wikipedia

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