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.