Part 2, New York state road-trip, May, 1985

I finally completed the scanning of slides for this post….. Part 2 of the road-trip I took from May 20th to 22nd, 1985. Part 1 was posted almost a month ago on August 28th. I will start this post where I left off… it was the afternoon of the second day of the road-trip which turned out to be nice and sunny which made it easier to shoot slides (Kodachrome). Sometime later I figured out that Ektachrome slide film was extremely better for shooting in the varying light situations I found during these extended road-trips and used that almost exclusively until I  stopped shooting 35mm film in the last 6 years.

At the end of Part 1, I was documenting the J.R. Diner on Wolf Street in Syracuse. I posted the first 2 slides I shot of that particular diner. It seems I had to start a new roll of film as there were 2 more shots of this on the new roll.


J.R. Diner, 1208 Wolf St. in Syracuse, NY
May 21, 1985 photo by Larry Cultrera


J.R. Diner, 1208 Wolf St. in Syracuse, NY
May 21, 1985 photo by Larry Cultrera

After J.R. Diner, I found Mario’s Little Gem Diner over at 832 Spencer St. This was a great example of a 1950’s streamlined, L-shaped Fodero diner featuring plenty of stainless steel with red flexglass strips. Mario Biasi was now operating this  diner after formerly being associated with another smaller stainless-steel Silk City diner in North Syracuse. I believe I ate dinner here that evening.


Mario’s Little Gem Diner, Syracuse, NY – May 21, 1985 photo
by Larry Cultrera


Mario’s Little Gem Diner, Syracuse, NY – May 21, 1985 photo
by Larry Cultrera


Mario’s Little Gem Diner, Syracuse, NY – May 21, 1985 photo
by Larry Cultrera


Mario’s Little Gem Diner, Syracuse, NY – May 21, 1985 photo
by Larry Cultrera

Next up was a non-streamlined Sterling diner operating as the Liberty Diner. Located at 4004 South Salina St. (Rte. 11) it looked to be in original condition from the outside (except for the porcelain steel panels being painted a brown color) .  I never got to go inside this one so I don’t no what the inside was like. The sun was behind this place somewhat so I am only showing 2 of the 4 photos I shot as the other 2 were somewhat in shadow. This diner was dismantled a number of years later and the parts put into storage if I recall correctly.


Liberty Diner, Syracuse, NY – May 21, 1985 photo by Larry Cultrera


Liberty Diner, Syracuse, NY – May 21, 1985 photo by Larry Cultrera

After this I ended up downtown near City Hall and found the Miss Syracuse Diner, a slightly modified Bixler diner. I got some decent shots of this one….


exterior of the Miss Syracuse Diner, 258 East Water St., Syracuse, NY
May 21, 1985 photo by Larry Cultrera


exterior of the Miss Syracuse Diner, 258 East Water St., Syracuse, NY
May 21, 1985 photo by Larry Cultrera


exterior of the Miss Syracuse Diner, 258 East Water St., Syracuse, NY
May 21, 1985 photo by Larry Cultrera


interior of the Miss Syracuse Diner, 258 East Water St., Syracuse, NY
May 21, 1985 photo by Larry Cultrera


interior of the Miss Syracuse Diner, 258 East Water St., Syracuse, NY
May 21, 1985 photo by Larry Cultrera

I then ended up on Geddy St. to take these late afternoon shots of Denny’s Diner. This place was not related to the national chain of Denny’s Restaurants but it looks like they borrowed the logo somewhat for this little barrel-roofed diner covered in stucco.


Denny’s Diner, Syracuse, NY – May 21, 1985 photo by Larry Cultrera


Denny’s Diner, Syracuse, NY – May 21, 1985 photo by Larry Cultrera


Denny’s Diner, Syracuse, NY – May 21, 1985 photo by Larry Cultrera


Denny’s Diner, Syracuse, NY – May 21, 1985 photo by Larry Cultrera


Denny’s Diner, Syracuse, NY – May 21, 1985 photo by Larry Cultrera

I started out the next day having breakfast at the diner formerly run by Mario Biasi (of Mario’s Little Gem Diner) This diner was known as Mario’s Diner when Al Bellink and Don Kaplan reviewed it for their “Diners of the Northeast” book (1980, The Berkshire Travellers Press). It was operating as the Pelican Diner when I visited it on this road-trip. I understand it has since been moved to Canastota, NY since to become the Canastota Dinerant.


Pelican Diner, North Syracuse, NY – May 22, 1985 photo by Larry Cultrera


Pelican Diner, North Syracuse, NY – May 22, 1985 photo by Larry Cultrera


Pelican Diner, North Syracuse, NY – May 22, 1985 photo by Larry Cultrera


Pelican Diner, North Syracuse, NY – May 22, 1985 photo by Larry Cultrera

After breakfast, I left the Syracuse area and headed east. I do not recall if I traveled Rte. 5 out of Syracuse but I do know I did end up on Rte. 5 and eventually made it to Herkimer, NY. I knew from my buddy David Hebb that Herkimer was the home to the Empire Diner, a 1950’s vintage Mountain View diner. I got there at a great time of the day because the sun was shining directly on the place for some excellent post card worthy photos.


Empire Diner, corner of North Main and State Streets (Rte 5)
Herkimer, NY – May 22, 1985 photo by Larry Cultrera


Empire Diner, corner of North Main and State Streets (Rte 5)
Herkimer, NY – May 22, 1985 photo by Larry Cultrera


Empire Diner, corner of North Main and State Streets (Rte 5)
Herkimer, NY – May 22, 1985 photo by Larry Cultrera


Empire Diner, corner of North Main and State Streets (Rte 5)
Herkimer, NY – May 22, 1985 photo by Larry Cultrera

After Herkimer, I consulted my road atlas and made my way toward Lake George by way of Johnstown and Gloversville, NY. Back in 1969 when I was on a weeks vacation with my family we spent most of our time in Lake George but managed to make a side trip to Cooperstown to visit the National Baseball Hall of Fame. While there we stayed at the Johnstown/Gloversville Holiday Inn for one night. This was my first trip back to the area since 1969 and it was interesting to see how much I remembered as I checked out the towns while driving through. I continued on my way toward Great Scanandaga Lake and was on Rte. 30 when I came across the Dun Dozin’ Diner in Mayfield. It was a late 1930’s vintage Monarch model built by the Jerry O’Mahony Company. The exterior was intact but painted over and had a manasrd roof covering the front and sides. The interior was in remarkable condition. I did take photos of the interior but apparently had no flash for the camera which certainly would have made for better images. But I figure, the ones I got were better than nothing. This diner has since gotten enlarged and somewhat hidden (from the outside) and is now operating as the Northampton Diner. The interior is still fairly original. This diner was originally located in Glens Falls and operated under names such as Miss Glens Falls Diner and the Glen’s Diner.


Dun Dozin’ Diner, Rte. 30, Mayfield, NY
May 22, 1985 photo by Larry Cultrera


Dun Dozin’ Diner, Rte. 30, Mayfield, NY
May 22, 1985 photo by Larry Cultrera


Dun Dozin’ Diner, Rte. 30, Mayfield, NY
May 22, 1985 photo by Larry Cultrera


Dun Dozin’ Diner, Rte. 30, Mayfield, NY
May 22, 1985 photo by Larry Cultrera


interior view of the Dun Dozin’ Diner, Rte. 30, Mayfield, NY
May 22, 1985 photo by Larry Cultrera


interior view of the Dun Dozin’ Diner, Rte. 30, Mayfield, NY
May 22, 1985 photo by Larry Cultrera


interior view of the Dun Dozin’ Diner, Rte. 30, Mayfield, NY
May 22, 1985 photo by Larry Cultrera

On to Lake George for the conclusion of this road-trip where I apparently took one shot of the Prospect Mt. Diner. It seems like I removed that particular slide from the box for whatever reason lost to memory. I would surmise that I either put it with other slides of that diner or that it was just not a good photo. I know I shot one as it would have been the last shot on a 36 exposure roll of film and the box has the name scratched out.

5 thoughts on “Part 2, New York state road-trip, May, 1985

  1. Great pics Larry, I love the interior of Miss Syracuse with all the chrome and tuffed round counter stools. It’s also fun to see all the late model cars in the photos, takes you back…some of them were huge.

  2. The Canastota Dinerant changed names a couple of more times. It was later Anne Marie’s Diner, and as of my last visit (August 19, 2009) it was Dick & Bert’s Hometown Diner. It’s a Silk City and I have its serial number as 5808, which would make it the next one produced after the Chief Martindale Diner.

  3. Hi I was just googling something about Herkimer and stumbled upon your website about the diners. I live in Herkimer and I wanted you to know that the Empire Diner is still standing and is now called Ottos. It looks as beautiful as ever and they remodeled the inside. I’ll have to take some pictures and send it to you. Nice to see someone like you enjoy historical places like these diners!

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