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Roadside Diners Midwest


Crosser Diner (Closed)
Lisbon, OH
Photo courtesy Steve Felder

A real find, a luncheonette type" describes this classic diner to a "T". Located in the small town of Lisbon, Ohio, stop by and grab some grub at the Crosser Diner while you are in town. Strong coffee? Just tip extra.


UPDATE 01/07 : The Crosser Diner is closed. The diner closed shortly after downtown Lisbon was redone because the diner had no sewer. Many thanks to Zachery Lewton for update. 01-07

UPDATE 07/08 : the roof of the diner has fallen in and the diner is about to completely collapse soon. At this rate, it will be gone here in a few more years. Many thanks to Zachery Lewton for update. 07/08



Compton Diner (Demolished)
Compton, IL
Photo courtesy Don Gardner

This streaming diner was closed at the last sighting. The Compton Diner of Compton, IL would have made a nice stop.


UPDATE 10/06 : At the time that I remember the Compton Diner from the 50's, it sat next to U.S. route 51, the north-south highway linking Rockford to Bloomington,Illinois( the main thoroughfare in those days). My dad worked next door at the J. I. Case tractor dealers shop and we lived just south of there on the edge of town next to the Burlington route railroad tracks. On the other side sat the Cities Service (Citgo today) service station and behind it was the roller skating rink.

Compton was a typical midwest small town with about a 1/2 mile of roadside next to the highway. As for memories of being there, our family would go there for the Friday night fish fries, or a hamburger and french fries plate. The jukebox had Hank Williams, Ernest Tubb and all of the other country stars. They served cold beer with the meals. I won't ever forget the Hamm's and Pabst neon beer signs. It was the kind of a place where the truck drivers would stop in at. Boy, the sights and sounds of a B series Mack or the unforgettable scream of 3 cylinder Detroit in a COE crackerbox GMC (Jimmie) left an impression on a little boy as he stood there with his J. C. Higgens bicycle. Then the Burlington route freight train crews would stop at the edge of the highway and leave the diesel locomotive idling as they walked to the Diner for an evening meal around 6:00 P.M. coming back in an hour to continue on westward pulling the boxcars. They only stopped when going westbound at that time of the day.

During part of the 1970's, I lived again in that area and often stopped in for nostalgia's sake. But by then the Case dealer was gone and had become a welding shop. The roller skating rink was a warehouse and the service station had been torn down. By the late 1980's the new north -south interstate had come thru east of town. So like a lot of those one horse towns, it has quietly has slipped into the countryside.

Many thanks to Stephen Hormann for update. 10-06

UPDATE 03/07 : I knew this place as Al's Diner. It has since been torn down. Many thanks to Lou Miller for update. 03-07



Lester's Diner (Closed)
Bryan OH
Photo courtesy Mark Hackett

Depicting the true definition of roadside signage, the sign for Lester's Diner in Bryan, Ohio is a can't miss sight. With the classic tipped coffee cup and plain yet bold lettering, drop by and have a cup at Lester's. Rumors state that this diner was the inspiration and model for the TV show Alice. Kiss my grits? Well, Mel's name appears on the marquee itself. So there.


Lester's Diner street view
Photo courtesy Mike Engle



UPDATE 04/09 : Here's another close-up look at the Lester's Diner marquee.

The diner has been in business near downtown since 1965 and features home-style cooking. 04-09

Lester's Diner marquee
Bryan, OH
Photo courtesy Alan Culley


UPDATE 12/11 : Lester's Diner closed down on May 30, 2011 and was put up for sale. Word is that a Four Seasons Restaurant will be taking over the site. 12/11










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