AIR Stillinuse :: the Modern Diner
01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 Photos from HABS/HAER no. 385-10 1984.
the Modern Diner


One of my favorite diners around, with great food (pesto grits! steak and cheese omelette!), authentic atmosphere and a true RI history. The lines are long on the weekends but move fast. Plenty of time to stand and ponder over the extensive wall of specials, and then sit and get some quick and courteous diner service. Wait to eat in the dining car at least once – the other room is nice, but has none of the atmopsphere of the curvy diner car.

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Built by the J.B. Judkins Company of Merrimack Mass, the Modern Diner is one of the two remaining Sterling Streamliners, a line of customized, factory-built, “modernistic” diners manufactured in the 1930s and early 1940s. The exterior is made from vitreous enamel, pin striping and stainless steel trim. The interior has eleven counter stools, seven 4-customer booths and two 2-customer booths. The back bar is sheated in stainless steel. The above-bar hood is faced in mahogany-grained formica. Segmental arch ceilings covered with beige formica panels.

The Modern Diner was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977. It was moved from 13 Dexter Street (photos 1 and 2) in 1985. The MOdern Diner has appeared on numerous TV shows and books about diner culture.

Donna My mom and her sister sat with their 17 year old brother for lunch in 1942. My mom was his legal guardian at the time. He begged her to sign enlistment papers for the Navy. She did, and she never saw her brother again. He was washed overboard somewhere near Itlaly. Every time we drove by that diner she would point and cry. Sorry about the sad memory. I wish I had a picture of the dinner in his memory.

Richard C Parker My Granddad owner of EB Parker trucking of Amesbury MA delivered frieght to JB Judkins in the 1930s and 40s and as a boy and teenager I was there with him many times. Fond memories.

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