Posts Tagged ‘Lisbon’

Will the Crosser Diner ever reopen in Lisbon, OH?

March 11, 2008

A bit of warm weather has me thinking “road trip,” through cold weather admittedly has the same effect. Looking through last summer’s photos, one of the best treats along the Lincoln Highway is traveling eastward across Ohio in the evening and arriving in Lisbon after dark. No matter the hour, the corner entrance of the Steel Trolley Diner beckons with neon, stainless, and a warm glow inside — not to mention pies, home fries, coffee, and milk shakes. But for at least 6 years, the other side of town had brought a frown when I pass the abandoned Crosser Diner. It’s a c. 1944 Sterling diner made by J.B. Judkins of Merrimac, Mass., best known for their streamliner models featuring one or both ends rounded. This is a Dinette model, one of only 4 survivors.

OH_Crosser D
Above: Waiting for customers, and a buyer, is the rare Crosser Diner in Lisbon, Ohio.

The diner (127 W. Lincoln Way) and adjacent service station were founded by Jimmy Hanna and later run by John Howard “Wimpy” Crosser and his wife Lorena Arter. It changed hands and struggled in recent decades due to its tiny size and having the main storage and kitchen downstairs, but it still featured solid diner fare and classic decor. One site reports a rumor of it moving but I’ve not seen confirmation or an update. It’s a treasure worth saving and reopening, with a cool little neon sign to match. Any diner fans or Ohio LH roadies know its status?

Diners just got Easier to Find Along the Lincoln

November 19, 2007

Two new online resources will ease your search for classic diners along the Lincoln Highway or anywhere.

OH_St Tr DinerAbove: Earle Hersman at the grill at Jacki and Earle’s Steel Trolley Diner in Lisbon, Ohio, a 1955 O’Mahony-brand diner. Traveling all day across Ohio, there is no bigger thrill than pulling into town, seeing the lights on 24 hours a day, and knowing you can get breakfast, dinner, dessert, or just some coffee for the miles ahead.

Since starting Roadside magazine in the early 1990s, Randy Garbin has published maps to locate and identify diners, those factory-made restaurants with a counter that so many of us love. Then he compiled the info into a bound volume organized by state. Now that amazing database is available on the web at no charge: Diner Finder Online. Visitors to will find the feature in the tabs to the right and need just do a simple free registration to gain access. Once there, you click on a US state, and go to a list alphabetized by name, with city identified and an occasional picture. (Once you’re registered, you can access the site directly at Fellow researchers and food lovers have already contributed dozens of updates and corrections, making it the premiere guide to some 1875 diners. The print version is still available too.

Randy told me, “You could say that this project started back in 1986 when I first became ‘diner-aware.’ I vowed then to find and eat in every diner in the country, and this is part of that effort. It remains a work in progress and I continue to receive dozens of updates and photos from readers every week.” Here’s an example of what happens when you click the entry for the Steel Trolley Diner, 140 E Lincoln Way, Lisbon, Ohio:

Anim Diner gif

Another new source for diner info is Larry Cultrera’s Diner Hotline blog, which I’m proud to say was inspired by my move to blogging. Larry has written the Diner Hotline column for the Society for Commercial Archeology’s magazine (which I design) since 1988. He took his first diner photo in November 1980, then the following July started a Diner Log. He’s up to 806 diners but seems to know every diner’s story and owners, past and present. Check it out at The heartbreaking image at his page top shows the former Rosedale Diner of Pottstown, Pennsylvania, which appeared in 1973 on Daryl Hall and John Oates’ album Abandoned Luncheonette.

Diner Hotline