Make way for diner, all the way from Ohio
Restaurant to land at corner of routes 119, 202
Hometown Diner in Ottawa, Ohio is on its way to Rindge this week. The 1940s Silk City vintage diner is expected to open this fall near Edward Jones Investments at the intersection of routes 119 and 202.
Mel Brandt, driver and owner of M&M Leasing & Rigging, exits his truck that will haul the diner from Ottawa, Ohio to Rindge. Tim Halliday of Rindge, the new owner of the diner, said the diner moved out of Ottawa on Tuesday.
Photo Courtesy Craig Orosz of The Lima News
Omar Zook, an employee for M&M Leasing & Rigging, bolts the main entrance door of the Hometown Diner in Ottawa, Ohio in preparation for the diner to be moved to New Hampshire. The diner is 40 feet long and 14 feet high on the trailer.
Photo courtesy Craig Orosz The Lima News
Hometown Diner sign is placed on the ground in Ottawa in preparation to be moved to New Hampshire. Tim Halliday, the new owner of the diner, expects to move it out of Ottawa on Tuesday. It will be traveling more than 700 miles from Locust and East 11th streets to Rindge, N.H. He said his town is a small college town of 4,500 with a lot of lakes.
Workers have been busy this past week at Hometown Diner in Ottawa, Ohio as they prepare the diner for its move to Rindge.
Photo courtesy Craig Orosz of The Lima News
Sgt. Bob Johnson, 91, of Peterborough traveled through Europe following the movements of General George Patton’s army, treating the wounded of both sides as a medic.
A 1940s Silk City vintage diner with its newly restored ceramic tiles, counter stools and wooden booths will travel more than 700 miles this week from Ottawa, Ohio, to Rindge — it’s soon-to-be new home.
Tim Halliday of Rindge recently purchased the diner after years of searching for the perfect one in a number of nearby states, including Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New York and Pennsylvania. The diners Halliday initially saw were “old and tired” and needed some help, he said. But the Hometown Diner in Ottawa, which Halliday traveled to Ohio to see last fall, told a different story.
“It was fresh,” Halliday said by phone Wednesday. “I eventually bought the complete diner — the dishes, salt shakers, everything.”
The Hometown Diner in Ottawa opened in August 2010 after its former owner and German native, Matt Kaplanow, had it restored by Steve Harwin, a Cleveland-based diner restorer. But the diner was open for just a short time at that location before shutting down in the summer of 2012.
The diner’s limited use in the time since its restoration was a feature that caught Halliday’s attention from the beginning, he said. After a couple of months spent negotiating a sale’s agreement with Kaplanow, Halliday said he purchased the diner and is now anxiously awaiting its arrival by truck, which is expected within the next few days.
The diner’s new home will be at one of the four-corners formed by the intersection of routes 119 and 202, and it will neighbor Edward Jones Investments. Halliday purchased that property, which is located across Route 202 from Fogg’s Mini-Mart, approximately two years ago.
“Ever since I bought that piece of land, I contemplated a diner there. At one time, I’d even considered converting the building that is now Edward Jones,” Halliday said. “Rindge needs a diner badly. And I thought if no one else is going to build one I had to.”
Halliday, who owns 202 Truck and Equipment at 7 Dolly Ln. in Rindge, gets up early each morning for work, but said never wants to eat breakfast right away. After working for a couple hours, he said he’ll either return home to eat breakfast or drive to a restaurant in a neighboring town.
“A diner is a meeting place,” Halliday said, explaining that it offers an informal atmosphere where people can gather. “If you want to look for your friends, you know where to find them at 7 a.m.”
In less than a half-hour, Halliday said he wants locals to be able to get a simple breakfast and move on with their day’s work.
Halliday, though, won’t be operating the diner. He said he’s in negotiations with someone experienced in the restaurant business and hopes to sign a lease with him or her this week.
Then it will be a few more months before the diner is officially open for business, Halliday said. “We’re hopeful for a Sept. 1 start date, but with commercial real estate there is a lot of licensing,” he said.
After helping Halliday search Craigslist, interact with diner bloggers and make contact with people in the diner business, Evie Goodspeed of Rindge, who works for 202 Truck and Equipment, said she can’t wait for the Hometown Diner to finally arrive in New Hampshire.
“He wanted all the ambiance of a vintage diner and this one has it,” Goodspeed said. “It’s beautiful.”
The diner has yet to arrive, but the community knows its on its way, Halliday said.
“The response I’ve been getting from people is incredible. I can’t go to the store without someone asking me, ‘When can I have breakfast?’”
Alyssa Dandrea can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 228 or firstname.lastname@example.org. She’s on Twitter at @alyssadandrea.