Steve Harwin's story is similar: Once an ardent restorer of exotic cars, he got hooked on diners back in 1990 and never quite shook the addiction. With an obsessive attention to the smallest details and an endless patience for restoration work, he has single-handedly rescued a long list of diner treasures from the oblivion of the junk pile.
Today, he's the one to talk to if you are even thinking about buying and restoring a diner. His work speaks for itself, and mere words don't do justice to his list of retro-redux. The best way to get a sense of his restoration art is to inspect them in person and sit down in one of the booths. Recent diner accomplishments in the renovation arena: reworking the Ono Diner into the Big Dig in Boston; saving the Zephyr Diner (reopened as the all-dessert Sweet City in Cleveland); providing diners for Ruthie and Moe's in Cleveland (same town); and saving the diminutive Short Stop diner (once located in Belleville, New Jersey, the hamburger bar is now stored at Harwin 's diner yard in Cleveland). "This is history" he declared in a Spirit magazine interview. "You can't throw away history".
Except from "The American Diner", by Michael Karl Witzel. MBI Publishing Co.,