The Streetcar Diner - Gardner, IL
N 41° 12.316 W 088° 16.996
16T E 392409 N 4562338
Quick Description: The Streetcar Diner is over one hundred years old and was a horse drawn streetcar at one time.
Location: Illinois, United States
Date Posted: 6/26/2008 10:25:18 PM
Waymark Code: WM427N
In 1932 George Kaldem purchased it with the intention of converting it into a roadside diner and moved the streetcar to Gardner. This was a no-frills operation, simple and to the point. A small sign on the exterior identified it as a diner, and its reputation for good food soon brought in the customers.
For a while it was even used as an unofficial bus stop for the Greyhound line. The diner closed in 1939 but its history was not complete yet.
Over the years it became a summer cottage, a children’s playhouse and rental property for workers at the Joliet Arsenal in W.W. II.
In 1955 Gordon Gunderson who had married the daughter of Jim Girot, original owner of the Riviera Restaurant purchased the streetcar, and the streetcar was moved once more to its present location behind the Riviera.
It was used as a place for family reunions, picnics, lodging for fisherman and eventually a storage shed.
Over the years the diner fell into disrepair until John Weiss, the President of the Illinois Route 66 Preservation Committee discovered it. Restoration then began on this historic streetcar and diner from the early days of Route 66.
Address of Dining Car Restaurant:
5650 Highway 53 S
Gardner, IL USA
Where does it rate?: Not listed
Hours restaurant/diner is open: Not listed
Authenticity: Not listed
Rules for posting a visit are as follows:
1) A picture of yourself if possible or your gps with the diner/restaurant visible in the photo is required.
2) Make your log as interesting as possible, if you can, go inside and look around. Describe your visit and give details that would help others to visualize what is was like there.