Illinois Diners

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trolley car
Gardner, IL


Although not a true diner, I'll include this trolley car anyway. This was originally a horse-drawn trolley car from the late 1800s. Technically, it is a single-truck streetcar which was used in Kankakee, IL. In 1932, it was moved to downtown Gardner and converted into a cafe. In the 1950s or 1960s, it was moved next door to the Riviera Restaurant. At that point, the trolley car was restored by the Illinois Route 66 Preservation Committee. The adjacent Riviera Restaurant closed in 2009 and then was destroyed by fire in 2010. The trolley car was then donated to the village of Gardner. It was restored again and put on display next to the historic two-cell jail. [map]

former Royal Diner
Royalton, IL
The former Royal Diner is now attached to Arnold's Barbecue & More. It does not appear to be in use. This diner was built in the 1920s. While some believe this might be the earliest still-existing Worcester diner, it appears to be a Tierney. For more, see this website. [map]

former Salem Deluxe Diner
Union, IL
The former Salem Deluxe Diner is an O'Mahony diner from 1934. The diner was originally located in Salem, OH. After that, it was briefly located in Akron, OH where it was known as Joe's Diner. In 1994, the diner was sold to the Illinois Railway Museum where it is being restored. The attached building will serve as the kitchen. These photos are from 2012. For more, see this website.

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Tips & Updates. If you have suggestions about places that I haven't covered, historical info, or updates about places/things that have been remodeled or removed, I'd love to hear from you: