A tale of 2 Twins (Diners, that is)

Twin Bridge Diner, AKA Rosie’s Diner

Back in the early days of diner hunting I was down in the Groton, Connecticut area one day (July 10, 1983 to be specific) when I stumbled upon the Twin Bridge Diner, another later model Silk City diner very similar to Norm’s Diner also of Groton. I had already documented Norm’s on an earlier excursion the previous year (Sept. 18, 1982). The Twin Bridge Diner seemed to be doing a great business that day and I got the best photos I could considering all the vehicles parked around  the building.


I was coming out of the parking lot of the Twin Bridge Diner when I saw this across the side street from the diner. I could not resist taking this photo!
July 10, 1983 photo by Larry Cultrera


Twin Bridge Diner, Groton, CT – July 10, 1983 photo by Larry Cultrera


Twin Bridge Diner, Groton, CT – July 10, 1983 photo by Larry Cultrera


Twin Bridge Diner, Groton, CT – July 10, 1983 photo by Larry Cultrera

By 1988 or so, this diner changed owners as well as names becoming Rosie’s Diner and continued to operate until September of 2005. The owners decided to replace this diner with a brand-new diner built by Mike Risko’s Classic Diners out of Michigan (thanks to Mike Engle for clearing that up) and renamed the new place the “Oh Boy Diner”. Incidently, the new diner did not fare so well and closed within a fairly short time. I just read that 5 Guys Burgers & Fries were slated to take over the building as of April of 2011.

Meanwhile, the old diner was bought by Steve Harwin of Diversified Diners and was transported to his property in Cleveland, OH. Steve’s plan, as always was to eventually find a buyer who wanted a 1950’s vintage modern stainless-steel diner. When the prospective buyer would come forward, then Steve would have his team of workers do some needed updating and restoration/rehabbing prior to the new owners taking delivery of the diner.

Well fairly recently (late 2011) those new owners came into the picture. That would be Jeff and Vonnie Castree of Baraboo, Wisconsin. They are naming the new restaurant the Broadway Diner. Steve Harwin sent some photos along a couple of weeks ago showing the diner starting the trek from Cleveland to Baraboo in mid-April, 2012 …..


The former Rosie’s Diner/Twin Bridge Diner moving from Cleveland to Baraboo, WI to become the Broadway Diner.
April 2012 photo by Steve Harwin


The former Rosie’s Diner/Twin Bridge Diner moving from Cleveland to Baraboo, WI to become the Broadway Diner.
April 2012 photo by Steve Harwin


Interior of the soon to be Broadway Diner of Baraboo, WI
April, 2012 photo by Steve Harwin

I wish Jeff and Vonnie Castree good luck with their new endeavor!

Twin Diner, AKA Spicy’s Bar-B-Que

I first knew of the Twin Diner of Riverhead, Long Island from a John Baeder painting. The Twin Diner was apparently two 1920’s vintage barrel roof diners that were placed side-by-side, end-wise to the street. John’s painting was actually of an interesting detail that was part of the linoleum tiled floor on the inside of the left-hand section of the diner. It was a cool little graphic, (almost primitive) showing as John put it…. “the little frivolous chef dancing the diner boogie”!


Scanned with permission from Page 82 of John Baeder’s book “Diners”

Well on one of my early trips to document diners on Long Island (September 22, 1984), you can be sure I wanted to see if the Twin Diner was still there. It actually was….. sort of. It had become Spicy’s Bar-B-Que and was not actually operating as a diner. The right-hand side had what was left of the counter, now sans stools and being used as a serving counter. The left-hand side was now exclusively the dining area with chairs and tables.


Interior of right-hand side of Spicy’s Bar-B-Que of Riverhead, Long Island
September 22, 1984 photo by Larry Cultrera


Interior of left-hand side of Spicy’s Bar-B-Que of Riverhead, Long Island,
notice the inlaid graphics in the linoleum. Unfortunately, our little chef was missing! September 22, 1984 photo by Larry Cultrera

This configuration of 2 diners being attached has been termed a “Diner graft” and interestingly, it seems Kullman Diners came in circa the 1950’s and modernized the 2 1920’s vintage diners. This was done primarily by “wrapping” the street ends of both diners in a new stainless-steel facade making the the 2 diners look like one new diner as seen in this photo below.


Front view of Spicy’s Bar-B-Que of Riverhead, Long Island
September 22, 1984 photo by Larry Cultrera


Side view of Spicy’s Bar-B-Que of Riverhead, Long Island. Here you can see the back section of the untouched left-hand barrel roof structure.
September 22, 1984 photo by Larry Cultrera


Back view of Spicy’s Bar-B-Que of Riverhead, Long Island. Here you can see the 2 side-by-side diners. They actually have been extended back from the original cars. September 22, 1984 photo by Larry Cultrera

Recently I have heard from a friend of John Baeder by the name of Susan Walter. She contacted me to let me know of an Ebay auction she had of an old snapshot of the Twin Diner. I decided to bid on it and did actually get it. Below is the actual snapshot the way it looks, with blemishes and all….

Here is the same photo with some enhancement and cleaning up in photoshop…..

2 thoughts on “A tale of 2 Twins (Diners, that is)

  1. Speaking of Rosie’s formerly twin bridges diner. ….I was in the Navy in the 60’s stationed at the Submarine Base. One of my treats was to save up enough of what was left of my $86.00 a month and go off base to eat. Rosie’s was about all I could afford. I was just in Groton and went looking for it. I found a new glitzy 5 guys diner in its place. I really missed the old diner.

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