|Fall of the Diner
their height, there were around 10,000 diners in America. But
when factories and businesses left cities to move to the suburbs,
less people went to diners. People who traditionally went to
diners, men who lived and worked in the area, were no longer
there. In cities like Trenton, diners almost completely disappeared.
the 1950s, many diners reinvented their image so new customers
would come. New diners opened up in the suburbs because many
people were moving there from the cities. Old diners became
cleaner and added booths, so women and children would want
to eat there. Diner owners also tried to attract teenagers.
Jukeboxes and soda fountains were put in, so teens would want
to hang out there after school. Many diners still have jukeboxes
in booths today.
are many interesting stories about New Jersey diners from
this time. In the 1960s, waitresses at the Club Diner wouldn't
write down orders on a pad like today. Instead, they wore
punch cards on their belts and punched out the prices of
the orders. They had to remember what food their customers
ordered to tell the cook.
diners also opened during this time period. The Short Stop
Diner in Bloomfield opened in 1953. Today they are still famous
for serving "eggs in a skillet." Customers eat their
eggs right out of the skillet. Perhaps the most famous New
Jersey diner, Rosie's Diner, was built in 1946. Originally
located in Little Ferry, the outside is made completely out
of stainless steel. The diner became famous in 1970 when Bounty
paper towel commercials featuring Rosie the waitress were set
there. However, the diner moved to Michigan in 1991.
these few successes, most diners hit hard times. Fast food
chains like McDonald's began appearing in the late 1950s, and
people ate there instead. Soon, many diners and diner builders
went out of business.