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Main Street Diner Written by Patti Nickell

Walking through the door at Main Street Diner, you might feel as if you had fallen into a time warp back in the 1950s. That oft reminisced about era of “I Like Ike” buttons, drive-in restaurants with roller skating carhops, and black and white westerns dominating the airwaves of that newfangled invention, the television set.

Boys wore their hair slicked back in duck tails and girls wore poodle skirts, and they all hung out at the diner, chowing down on 15-cent hamburgers, and sipping 5-cent cokes in between feeding the jukebox for more of that crazy new sound – rock and roll.

You’ll be glad to know that “Happy Days” are every day at Main Street Diner. You may have to pay $10.99 for your burger instead of 15 cents, but the Main Street Burger, a one-third pound burger inserted between two grilled cheese sandwiches dressed with lettuce, onion, tomato, pickle, and Main Street sauce, is definitely worth the price.

The jukebox allows diners to hear ’50s favorites such as Fabian, Frankie Avalon, Brenda Lee, and Connie Francis.  Patrons aren’t exactly encouraged to jump up and do the “Stroll”, “Hand Jive” or “The Twist,” in between the tables, but they will no doubt enjoy the soundtrack of the early rock and roll years.

The restaurant décor would give a collector palpitation. Album covers and 45 records line the walls. When was the last time you heard “The Ballad of Evel Knievel” by the Road Vikings or “Mack the Knife” by Bobby Darin?

There’s even a 78 album on display, which when server Megan Farney first saw it thought it was “a giant floppy disc.” It helps to know that Megan is 28. 

Artwork features one of the iconic “Legends” posters – this one showing James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, and Humphrey Bogart perched atop a vintage T-Bird. Another poster illustrates Mel’s Drive-in in Santa Monica, California along with the words, “Route 66 ends here.”

Servers are friendly and informal, inclined to stop and chat for a while. You may even get waited on by co-owner Megan Allan, who with her blonde ponytail and bubbly personality, looks like the heroine from a ‘50s TV show, even if she is wearing jeans and a t-shirt instead of a poodle skirt.

But as much fun as the nostalgia of a (presumably) simpler time is, it’s the food that draws the regulars and more than a few first-timers in the door.

Are you a breakfast lover?  Breakfast is served all day, beginning at 8:00 a.m. Your only problem might be choosing from dishes such as the Monte Cristo ($8.99), a French toast sandwich with turkey, Swiss cheese and strawberry jam topped with powdered sugar and warm maple syrup and served with hash browns, or the Pork Chop and Eggs, a fresh hand-cut charbroiled pork chop served with two eggs and hash browns ($9.99).

You can also go more traditional with the Biscuit and gravy plate ($3.99) or one of their specialty omelets ($7.99 – $9.99).

 Offering all-day breakfast is one of the reasons Allan and her three partners opened Main Street Diner in 2019.

“The downtown district needed a diner-style restaurant that offered good food at reasonable prices, and we kept hearing from folks that they wanted a place where they could get breakfast all day,” she says.

All-day breakfast may be the big draw, but the diner offers lunch and dinner fare as well.  Two popular appetizers are the Jalapeno Poppers, five cream cheese filled deep fried jalapenos served with a sweet chili dipping sauce ($6.99) and five mini-Salmon Patties, homemade deep-fried patties dredged in Weisenberger cornmeal served with Main Street sauce (also $6.99).

There’s a full range of burgers, sandwiches, and salads, as well as options for those with bigger appetites.  Popular choices include the country fried chicken smothered in Weisenberger white pepper gravy served with mashed potatoes and steamed vegetables ($10.99); Beef Tips, hand cut and topped with grilled onions and mushrooms and served with mashed potatoes and corn ($12.49) and Fish and chips, two pieces of flaky white cod breaded in Weisenberger fish batter and deep fried, served with French fries and coleslaw ($12.99)

If you have a sweet tooth, you can satisfy it with a selection of pies ($3.49) or a scoop of vanilla ice cream topped with chocolate syrup and whipped cream ($2.49).

Or you can do like they did in the ‘50s – have your dessert in liquid fashion – a hand churned homemade vanilla, chocolate, or strawberry milkshake ($4.49) or a Root Beer Float, two scoops of vanilla ice cream topped off with root beer ($3.49).

At Main Street Diner, “Happy Days” are indeed here again.