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roadmaven

Farewell To The Diner

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My heart, and stomach, sank this morning when I read The Diner on US 40 on the west edge of Indianapolis will be serving its last customers on Saturday, December 8th. This is one of our favorite places in town to eat, obviously for its ambiance, breaded tenderloin sandwiches, chili, manhattans, and the list of fine eats goes on. We started many a roadtrip with breakfast at The Diner. The sad story can be read here: Order Up!

 

We had a breakfast out there this summer that I documented with my new camera. Those memories are in the Gallery. :(

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My heart, and stomach, sank this morning when I read The Diner on US 40 on the west edge of Indianapolis will be serving its last customers on Saturday, December 8th. This is one of our favorite places in town to eat, obviously for its ambiance, breaded tenderloin sandwiches, chili, manhattans, and the list of fine eats goes on. We started many a roadtrip with breakfast at The Diner. :(

 

I feel your pain. This article just showed up in the Allentown Morning Call today about Leiby's Restaurant at the intersection of PA 309 and PA 443. Peg and I had just been there this summer, and felt that the service was no longer of their normal standards. But the ice cream was really the reason to stop there, with teaberry being a favorite, but great rum raisin and many others as well. My buddies and I would often stopp there on the way back from rounds of golf in that area. Hopefully someone else will reopen it and improve the service.

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Say it isn’t so! At the rate heritage diners and motels are closing in the midwest, the whole place will be shut down before I get there!

 

I note in the story that the 69 year old owner is listing the site at $1.75 Million. Even if he takes a big discount, I don't exactly feel sorry for him!!! ;) Of course a million or two doesn't go as far as it used to. :P

 

I was struck on this little trip to Oregon, Idaho, and Nevada that the only place where “diners” still exist is where there is too little traffic or business for a franchise. That means small town America, along the two laners, because just about every freeway exit has a fast food franchise. Bless the two lane roads!

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

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Say it isn’t so! At the rate heritage diners and motels are closing in the midwest, the whole place will be shut down before I get there!

 

I note in the story that the 69 year old owner is listing the site at $1.75 Million. Even if he takes a big discount, I don't exactly feel sorry for him!!! ;) Of course a million or two doesn't go as far as it used to. :P

 

I was struck on this little trip to Oregon, Idaho, and Nevada that the only place where “diners” still exist is where there is too little traffic or business for a franchise. That means small town America, along the two laners, because just about every freeway exit has a fast food franchise. Bless the two lane roads!

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

 

 

Yeah, a million hardly keeps my in gasoline and heat these days. LOL

(Oh, yeah - even Memphis requires heat in the house in the winter time - it was a mild (for the north) 29 this morning at 6am - and it's only 53 now!!!)

 

Hudsonly,

Alex Burr

Memphis, TN

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I believe the only time I ever ate at The Diner on US 40 was when I met the Bremers there for a run to St. Louis in 2005. I've always looked forward to stopping there again but folks who are "looking forward" aren't very bankable. And that $1.75 million price tag is both a blessing and a curse. It may be worth that to a MacDonald's or a Wal-Mart but you have to sell a lot of tenderloin sandwiches to play in that league. When the land becomes worth more than the business, it's hard to fault a guy for not hanging around to brew coffee for the regulars. If that's even a semi-reasonable guess at the property value, our best hope may be for someone save the Mountain View part of the building and relocate it.

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I believe the only time I ever ate at The Diner on US 40 was when I met the Bremers there for a run to St. Louis in 2005. I've always looked forward to stopping there again but folks who are "looking forward" aren't very bankable. And that $1.75 million price tag is both a blessing and a curse. It may be worth that to a MacDonald's or a Wal-Mart but you have to sell a lot of tenderloin sandwiches to play in that league. When the land becomes worth more than the business, it's hard to fault a guy for not hanging around to brew coffee for the regulars. If that's even a semi-reasonable guess at the property value, our best hope may be for someone save the Mountain View part of the building and relocate it.

 

You are right, Denny. My only real question is why he waited until he was 69! :blink: He must have loved the place and the people...or was nuts!

 

You don't suppose he was just waiting for Roadmaven to immortalize the place in his photos...so he could finally let it go? :lol:

 

Dave

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Yikes, not another classic diner! Seems like the diner revival of the 1990s has faded and they're again closing or changing hands at a rapid pace. I imagine it's harder than ever it's hard to find employees who want to work multiple tasks for long hours for relatively low pay when they can get a job at a chain and not have to care so much about their work - and surely it's more appealing to work at Best Buy and sell electronics to kids your age and get a discount on the stuff you want than mop floors, bus tables, clean bathrooms, cook orders, etc. The owner of Cindy's Diner in Fort Wayne found that he couldn't trust others to run the place right, so he cooks there every day of his life! That takes a lot of commitment.

 

We visited The Diner on US 40 last summer - here's the owner:

post-60-1196862088_thumb.jpg

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What does anyone think about the $1.75 million asking price. I think that's more than a bit high.

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The number surprised me. But that part of greater metropolitan Indianapolis is all growth, baby, and the joint is on the major artery out there.

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That also includes the motel and property - a nice big piece of land for a nice big parking lot for a nice big store or strip mall.

 

I sent Diner Blogger Larry Cultrera a picture too:

http://dinerhotline.wordpress.com/

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The number surprised me. But that part of greater metropolitan Indianapolis is all growth, baby, and the joint is on the major artery out there.

 

Not only that, but the Ronald Reagan Parkway just opened a few hundred yards to the west of it, so I look for anything within 1/4 mile of that intersection (The Diner, The Cloverleaf Motel, etc) to be a thing of the past before long. I doubt if the diner itself was worth 1/10 of the asking price, though I'm not up on what Mountain Views are going for these days. I always thought it would be cool for Ray to move the old "40 Motel" sign from next door to in front of the diner and rename it the 40 Diner. I recall 10 years or so ago when the 40 Motel was still in biz. The sign had a neon shield, and the "40" was emblazened with clear light bulbs. It was a thing of beauty! Too bad I don't have a pic of it then, but it was a classic.gallery_4_23_27842.jpg

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Excellent photo! ... for such sad roadside news.

 

I always thought it would be cool for Ray to move the old "40 Motel" sign from next door to in front of the diner and rename it the 40 Diner. I recall 10 years or so ago when the 40 Motel was still in biz. The sign had a neon shield, and the "40" was emblazened with clear light bulbs. It was a thing of beauty! Too bad I don't have a pic of it then, but it was a classic.gallery_4_23_27842.jpg

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Sadly I missed this one in my pursuit of the breaded pork tenderloin sandwich. :(

 

Roadmaven put me onto this forum.

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Sadly I missed this one in my pursuit of the breaded pork tenderloin sandwich. :(
I too missed having a tenderloin there. My only meal there was bacon & eggs. I'm not a very dedicated tenderloin tester but I've downed my share. Forum member ypsi-slim is also a tenderloin connoisseur and once reported that his favorite was served several miles east on the same road. That was the Midway (midway between Indianapolis & Columbus) which closed several months ago. When I reported the closing to slim, he told me his new favorite is Nick's Kitchen which is also featured at Davydd's porktenderloin site. I was able to enjoy a tenderloin at the Midway and, with endorsements piling up, I can definitely see a Huntington, IN, trip in my future.

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What started out as a ho-hum trip to Wal*Mart turned out to be Christmas in April! Westbound on US 40, I noticed a car sitting in front of The Diner and asked out loud "I wonder what that truck's doing there." Then as we got closer, there were a couple of other cars parked there, and then there it was....a neon OPEN sign glowing bright! People appeared to be sitting inside, as if it had never closed. In need of cash, we found an ATM and made our way back. Here's the scoop:

 

After owner Ray Piercy closed The Diner back in December, along came one of his former cooks who wanted to open it back up....and he did. They've been reopened since April 8th. Ray still owns the property and reportedly still has it for sale, but Tim Brooks now owns the business using the same menu that's made The Diner a local favorite. And the food hasn't changed either, as their famous tenderloins have the same taste as before. Ray stopped in around 7:30 tonight and we had a nice talk with Ray and Tim, as we were the only patrons at the time. Tim's working on utilizing the old 40 Motel sign that's still in front of the adjacent (and closed) 40 Motel and use it as the sign for the 40 Diner (an idea I've had for a long time!).

 

It's anyone's guess how long The Diner will make it, as mentioned the property is still for sale at a cost of $1.7 million. And with the ever-increasing commercialism along 40 in the Plainfield area, The Diner still might be on borrowed time if an aggressive developer comes along. But in the meantime, I highly encourage anyone in the area or just driving through to pay homage to this icon of US 40. Hours are 5:30am-9pm Monday-Thursday, 5:30am-10pm Friday & Saturday, and 8:30am-3pm Sundays.

 

After they closed last December, I honestly thought I'd never have the opportunity to step foot in there again, let alone have one of their tenderloins. What a great night it was! :D:happyguy::cheers2::banana::happy2::sunshine2::sunshine1::wavetowel2::burgereater::ready2eat:

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Let's hope for all that enjoy this diner it will be able to make it with the new owner. So many times a place like this closes for a few weeks or months and re-opens only to shortly close again forever. It's really hard to re-establish a business once it has closed.

 

As for the time it will take for someone to "snatch" up the property, given how things are today economically I wouldn't get into a panic about someone snatching it up and putting a bulldozer to it. I know of a property at a prime intersection which was a barely five year old Super K-Mart when K-Mart declared bankruptcy. It was among the stores that were closed. Everybody figured various chain retailers would snatch it up, but now around 8 years later it's still sitting there with no occupant.

 

Something to think about......... Forty years from now our grandchildren will probably be lamenting the closure of a Burger King, McDonald's, or Starbucks because a classy neon lit diner just opened in the next block. I hope I live long enough to see it happening........ :D

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...along came one of his former cooks who wanted to open it back up....and he did.

Fantastic!! I need to be getting over there to sample the tenderloin and you (and lots of your neighbors) need to be giving them all the business you can.

 

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you (and lots of your neighbors) need to be giving them all the business you can.

Just stopped by The Diner for lunch today with a friend of mine from work. I'm not a tenderloin person, so I ordered the Patty Melt. It was wonderful! This was my first time there. It was a friendly and pleasant place to be.

 

I'm scheduling a return visit with a larger group from our office on Wednesday, May 21 at 11:30 a.m. if anybody wants to join us.

 

Chris

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ohhhhhhhh, the patty melt!!!! There are several things in this world that are proof positive to me that God exists and loves us very much, and patty melts are, for me, one of those things. Too stinking bad I work and live soooooo far away from Plainfield or I'd go get one for dinner tonight! jim

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ohhhhhhhh, the patty melt!!!! There are several things in this world that are proof positive to me that God exists and loves us very much, and patty melts are, for me, one of those things. Too stinking bad I work and live soooooo far away from Plainfield or I'd go get one for dinner tonight! jim

 

I am pleased at the good news, and especially to see how easy it is to please mid westerners! When I finally get out that way, I'll bring a bag of bread and some cheeze!

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

 

Dave

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"Plainfield roadside diner joins Indiana endangered list"

Article from May 5, 2010 Indianapolis Star

"The iconic U.S. 40 Diner in Plainfield, a roadside landmark for more than a half-century that closed last summer despite attempts by several people to reopen it, is one of the 10 most endangered buildings in the state."

 

At least I got the chance to eat there last year. Hopefully whoever buys the place can refurbish the trailer portion or let it go to someone who will.

 

Chris

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My understanding is that the property is priced at a level consistent with its value for investment (given that it's on two major arteries) and not consistent with reopening it as a diner. :-(

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