Maine’s A1 Diner honors longtime cook with renamed specialty!

early 1980’s view of Giberson’s Diner (now the A1 Diner)
photo by Larry Cultrera

I got a message from Sarah Rolph last week asking me to post this press release she wrote for our friends Mike Giberson and Neil Anderson, co-owners of the A1 Diner in Gardiner, Maine. Mike and Neil have decided to rename one of their most popular menu items after Bob Newell, a retired long-time cook at the diner. I will let the press release tell the story……..

A1 Diner Honors Longtime Cook Bob Newell with “Bob’s Corned Beef Hash”

Dish Renamed for Longtime Cook who cooked for 57 Years at A1 Diner

Gardiner, Maine, September 18, 2012 – A1 Diner owners Mike Giberson and Neil Andersen announced today that their famous corned beef hash has been named after longtime diner cook Bob Newell.

Bob’s Corned Beef Hash, as it is now known, was made by Bob Newell until his retirement from A1 Diner in September 2009. Although Bob no longer works at A1 Diner, he does stop by from time to time. “Once when I was there, they hadn’t put enough garlic in,” said Bob in a recent interview.

It is believed that the garlic problem has since been corrected, but diner patrons are encouraged to check it out and let the chefs know whether Bob’s Corned Beef Hash is living up to its reputation.

“The corned beef hash at A1 Diner was never better than when Bob made it,” said diner co-owner Mike Giberson. “We miss Bob, and we know he misses the diner. It is a pleasure to honor Bob’s longtime service by naming our great hash after Bob, a great cook.”

Bob is the only person in the 66-year history of the diner to have worked for all four owners: Eddie Heald, Maurice Wakefield, Al “Gibey” Giberson, and current owners Neil Andersen and Michael Giberson (Al’s son). He began his career as third cook at the historic Worster House in Hallowell, Maine, a very popular restaurant in the 1940s and 1950s. When Heald’s diner (now A1 Diner) came to town in 1946, Bob went to work there, and, except for the years of his service in the Korean war, cooked there until his retirement in 2009.

A1 Diner has named a dish in honor of longtime diner cook Bob Newell
(at right, shown with A1 Diner co-owner Mike Giberson). The only cook to work for all four owners of the diner (previously Giberson’s, Wakefield’s, and Heald’s Diner), Bob worked at the diner for 57 years until his retirement in 2009. Bob was famous for his biscuits, and for his corned beef hash, now to be forever known as Bob’s Corned Beef Hash. Photo by Jeff Giberson

Recollections from Bob are a treasured part of the book about the diner, A1 Diner: Real Food, Recipes, and Recollections by Sarah Rolph (Tilbury House, 2006). In the book, Bob discusses the changes in the diner and its food over the years, provides biscuit-making tips, and shares some of his favorite anecdotes, such as the time he met Andrew Wyeth at the diner. To learn more about the book, visit

About A1 Diner
A1 Diner is a nationally known restaurant in Gardiner, Maine. Chef-owned by Michael Giberson and Neil Andersen, the diner serves both traditional New England diner food and fine-food specialties. A1 Diner was featured on the Food Network’s popular show Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives, hosted by Guy Fieri. Born as Heald’s in 1946, the diner is a traditional, manufactured diner—Worcester Lunch Car #790. For more information, visit and

Classic postcard of Heald’s Diner in Gardiner, Maine
currently operating as the A1 Diner

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s