A ride on a Harley-Davidson—and memories of cooking with Mom—gave new life to the Miss Washington Diner.
Just ask owner Dan Czako. “I have literally always been waiting to own a place like this,” he says. “Since my twelfth birthday, when my dad took me for a ride on his Harley to a diner in Vernon, Connecticut, I’ve always known what I wanted to do. After that [trip], I started cooking with my mom…. [She] helped me develop kitchen skills by the time I was in eighth grade.”
When Czako later bought the Miss Washington Diner in May 2011, the eatery had been in existence for eighty-three years. Opened in 1928 at the corner of State Route 71A and Washington Street in New Britain, Connecticut, it originally operated as the Terminal Diner. In 1952, when a section of the original building was replaced, owner George Georgiadis decided to rename his restaurant in honor of the new improvements. He chose the name “Washington Diner”—and with that choice earned the objections of an existing Washington Diner in Hartford, Connecticut. To keep the peace, Georgiadis added the word “Miss” to his marquee.