The owners of the Red Robin Diner of Johnson City, NY are celebrating the diner’s 50 years at its Main Street location. I have visited the “Dirty Bird” as it was locally known (back in the 1980’s at least) a couple of times over the years. It is a 1950 vintage Mountain View diner with a unique layout.
When you sit at the counter you are actually facing the front windows! Looking at my photo above, the area that has a couple of stainless steel panels where the windows should be is actually where the cooking area is located. So you not only can look out the windows but also see your meal being cooked at the same time. Only Paramount Diner’s “Road King” model had a similar layout.
Anyway here is an article from Pressconnects.com from August 12th that sums up the reason for the celebration…..
Diner to celebrate 50 years at JC location
By Eric Reinagel
JOHNSON CITY — In the 1960s, chef Louis Diamantakos remembers Endicott Johnson shoe workers, doctors, mailmen and construction workers eating at the Red Robin Diner in Johnson City.
“Everyone used to stop there,” said Diamantakos.
Things might not be quite as bustling these days, but current owner Jon Bowie said, “We’re doing OK. We’re surviving.” From 5 to 7 p.m., today, Red Robin will celebrate 50 years at its Main Street location. Bowie said the event will include free cake for all customers. The nostalgic art deco diner actually got its start at 8 Conklin Ave., Binghamton, in 1950.
On July 1, 1959, the 35-ton diner was transported from Binghamton down the Vestal Parkway and across the bridge to Johnson City, a trip that took more than two hours. The diner was rolled onto the empty lot where the Farrell Kitchen Specialty Co. was located until it burned to the ground during a spectacular fire on the night of Jan. 24, 1957.
Over the years, the restaurant has had two owners and there was fear about what would happen to the Johnson City landmark when Chris and Pat Anagnostakos decided to retire after 37 years of running the business. Rumors had a medical office going into the space; then a bank.
Instead, Jon and Bonnie Bowie bought the building and renovated the facility. Jon said he always had a love for nostalgia. He even had a 1950 GMC truck refurbished and a paint job done on the truck’s door that says Red Robin Diner. Although Bowie’s restaurant lives in the past, he’s embracing a new Wal- Mart coming in 2010 off Lester Avenue. “Hopefully we can get some traffic on Main Street,” he said.
Just like the good old days.
11 thoughts on “Red Robin Diner of Johnson City, NY Celebrates 50 years at its location!”
Not too far of a journey from where we are (at least it’s not as far as Mass!) – thanks for the tip Larry, looks like something for the Retro Roadmap, my convenient excuse to check out cool stuff 🙂
Did you ever visit? Is it still open?
I was raised on Binghamton’s south side. If this was the same Diner that was close to the Rock Bottom Dam on Conklin Ave. I drove by it all the time….One of my favorite sayings is also “Give me back the old days”…
I lived in Binghamton during the 60’s. I actaully remember the diner coming down Main st. when it was moved. If I ever get back to Johnson City I will be sure to stop in.
Ron Seibold from Serrell Ave..?? I remember you. I lived across from Keeneys.
The Current iowner is a very committed owner to his diner.Great food and it brings me back to the past of the 50’s and 60’s.
On September 16th, 2020 I went to the red robin diner for breakfast and my eggs were overdone so I asked for a replacement. The cook yelled at me in front of all the other people in the place telling me that I do this every time I go there. I said no I don’t. By the time the waitress brought me a replacement I had lost my appetite and couldn’t eat my breakfast which is said to be the most important meal of the day. I’ve been going there for 36 years and only 3 times have I complained about my eggs. They changed the rye bread and I liked the other one better. I’m not sure if I’ll go back there again. Other than the issue with the eggs the food is very good. That is not the proper way to treat a customer