Lamy's Diner - The Henry Ford - Dearborn, MI
N 42° 18.118 W 083° 14.047
17T E 315848 N 4685721
Quick Description: Like the Phoenix...
Location: Michigan, United States
Date Posted: 9/24/2007 8:37:23 PM
Waymark Code: WM292C
The period before and after World War II has often been called the golden age of diners. At this time, modern diners, called "streamliners," represented the latest in speed, efficiency and convenience.
World War II veterans, lured by dreams of prosperity, jumped at the opportunity to own and operate their own diners. As Clovis Lamy (the original owner of the museum's diner) remarked, "During the war, everyone had his dreams. I said if I got out of there alive, I would have another diner — a brand new one."
Sure enough, when Lamy was discharged from the army, he ordered a 40-seat, 36- by 15-foot model from the Worcester Lunch Car Company. It boasted 16 built-in stools, six hardwood booths, and a stainless steel back bar. He could choose the diner's colors, door locations and outside lettering. Lamy and his wife Gertrude visited the Worcester, Massachusetts plant once a week, eager to check on its construction.
Lamy's Diner opened for business in April 1946, in Marlborough, Massachusetts. According to Lamy, business was brisk:
We jammed them in here at noon — workers from the town's shoe shops — and we had a good dinner trade too… People stopped in after the show… after the bars closed, the roof would come off the place.
During the long hours of operation (the place closed at 2:00 a.m.), the kitchen turned out everything from scrambled eggs to meat loaf. To Clovis Lamy, there was no better place than standing behind the counter talking to people.
But the dream had its downside. The work day was long. Lamy was seldom able to eat with his family. After moving the diner to nearby Framingham, he sold the business in 1950. The new owner then moved it to Hudson, Massachusetts.
By the late 1950s, businesses were leaving urban downtowns, where diners had long been a mainstay. Families preferred the standard fare of chain restaurants, or the cheaper and faster service of drive-ins and fast-food establishments. Diners had lost their appeal.
Nearly a quarter of a century passed before Americans' interest in diners was rekindled. The Henry Ford played a part in this revival. As early as 1982, the museum began looking for a diner as "an ideal site for interpreting the 20th-century experience." In 1984, diner historian Richard Gutman spotted the Hudson diner for sale in the Boston Globe. The museum acquired and moved it, then spent three years restoring it to its 1946 appearance.
When Clovis Lamy and his wife viewed the diner at the 1987 opening of "The Automobile in American Life" exhibition, they confirmed that the diner looked as good as new. "Even the sign is the same," he remarked.
Buffet Style: no
Serves Alcohol?: no
Museum hours 9 to 5, 7 days
20900 Oakwood Blvd.
Dearborn, MI USA
URL: [Web Link]
NO DRIVE BY WAYMARKING! We want a photo of the restaurant (inside or out) and what you ordered from the menu or your favorites and how you would rate it.