4 More Diners from the early 1980’s

Things have been kind of slow here at the Hotline…… OK, I am feeling kind of lazy, I admit it! I have been working on one or two things coming up including a possible book or two or three (this remains to be seen but I am hopeful). I need to get going on the author’s proposal.

Anyway, here are some photos of 4 more diners I documented in the early 1980’s that you can see for the first time here in Diner Hotline!

I will show these in order driving south from the Adirondack region of New York to as far south as Maryland.

Aviation Diner, Aviation Road and Route 9
Queensbury, NY

Aviation Diner, August, 1981 photo by Larry Cultrera

Aviation Diner, August, 1981 photo by Larry Cultrera

The Aviation Diner was a typical 1970’s stone facade with spanish terracotta tile mansard environmental style diner. It was closed when I photographed it in 1981 and eventually moved from this site, (I don’t believe it was torn down). I heard it was moved south closer to the Albany area but this is unconfirmed. By 1991 there was a Papa Gino’s Restaurant built there (a Massachusetts chain) that became a different restaurant in later years.

Spa City Diner, 133 S. Broadway Saratoga Springs, NY

Spa City Diner, August, 1981 photo by Larry Cultrera

Spa City Diner, August, 1981 photo by Larry Cultrera

The Spa City Diner was more than likely built on-site. I have an earlier postcard image that shows an interesting building with at least one rounded corner (on the right end) with glass blocks. The rest of the facade looks to be stucco. The building in these photos is what became of the earlier place, greatly expanded. I checked Bing street views and it is still there.

Trail Diner, Route 11, Duncannon, PA

Trail Diner, August 8, 1981 photo by Larry Cultrera

Trail Diner, August 8, 1981 photo by Larry Cultrera

The Trail Diner is a very large Kullman Diner from the 1950’s. It still is operating, now under the same ownership as Angie’s Brookside Diner in Harrisburg I believe and is known as Angie’s Trail Diner. After I posted this, Spencer Stewart did some detective work and it seems like the diner looks completely different now, check out his comment below… there is a link to his blog showing what it looks like now.

Tom’s Diner, Route 50, Easton, Maryland

Tom’s Diner, August 9, 1981 photo by Larry Cultrera

Tom’s Diner, August 9, 1981 photo by Larry Cultrera

Tom’s Diner was a very large Mountain View Diner with an add-on diningroom. I am not sure it is still there. If it is, it possibly has another name.

14 thoughts on “4 More Diners from the early 1980’s

  1. The Spa City Diner is not only still there, it still looks almost exactly the same! They even still have the roadside RESTAURANT sign with arrow. It has had an ownership change, and name change to Saratoga Diner. I too have seen the vintage postcard, and have noticed that the stone on the right front corner of the present building is curved, as though they put a stone facing on the earlier diner. Was that diner factory built? We may never know.

  2. Any more info on Tom’s? I couldn’t find anything else on the place- always interested in finding more about places in my neck of the woods. Rough area or rt. number?

    I do know some friends of my dad got panels off a stainless steel place that was abandoned on the eastern shore sometime in the late 80s. Wonder if it was this one.

  3. Spencer, I tried looking at Google street view and could not find anything. It was on Rte. 50 (as I stated in the title) So I do not know if it is still there.

  4. Hm- heard back. Apparently the trip they got the panels was in April 1980, and they took pics of Tom’s, which was, of course still in business.
    The abandoned diner they “appropriated” the bits from was between Salisbury and Assateague, presumably also on 50. Any idea which one that would be?
    She’s looking through negatives trying to find shots of both of them.

  5. Larry- I have a pal in the Duncannon area who was cool enough to visit Angie’s Trail Diner and snap a few interior photos via iphone. I’ve posted them on the RetroRoadmap Facebook Page:


    Here’s the report:

    “From accounts of a few employees, they think original diner is covered over. Drop ceiling, dry wall, and paneling give no clue of the hidden Kullman.. Floor looks old in main section as well as counter and stools.There have been additions over the years. A hodge podge of architecture.”

    With the exception of the floor it looks like there isn’t much left of the original diner to me. Hope that info helps! Kyle Weaver may know more.

  6. The Spa City Diner is very much still in operation, I pass it often and ate there last year. The breakfast was decent but not remarkable, the interior is dark and depressing (the acoustic ceiling tiles are stained) and the whole place looks worn and has an “I don’t care” air about it.

  7. The Aviation Diner is Queesbury, NY does not exist anymore. There are 4 corners there:2 with strip malls, 1 with a Mobil Station and 1 with a closed down Monroe Muffler and has been this way for over 10 years now. However there is a diner being built next to Exit 19 of The Adirondack Northway (Interstate I-87) at Aviation Road where the old Howard Johnson’s/7Steers Restaurant was and it is to be built in the old metal diner style. Due to open Spring or Summer 2012. More info can be found in the Saratogian Newspaper or the Post Star Newspaper from Saratoga and Warren County , NY areas.

  8. My aunt Elizabeth Semmons Stokes and some of her family worked at the Trail Diner in the 50’s and 60’s when it was owned by Paul Rokus. I never knew my Aunt but finding this information in Ancestry and Newspapers.

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