Friday Flashback #211

When today’s Westporters talk about “the diner,” there’s only one: Sherwood.

The Post Road establishment — about 50 years old — is our go-to for an inexpensive meal, quick business meeting or coffee with friends. It’s where we head in a power outage, or pandemic. The food is familiar and comfortable, and there’s plenty of it.

Back in the 1950s though, there were many diners. From the “S” on the Southport line, where Organika is now …

… through Elwood (the current site of Pane e Bene), and on to Muriel’s by Taylor Place …

(Photo courtesy of Paul Ehrismann)

… and over to the Westnor (Post Road West, near North Sylvan) …

Westnor Diner, after it closed.

… this was a diner town.

If you remember any of these classics — or any I’ve missed — click “Comments” below.

23 responses to “Friday Flashback #211

  1. Ahhhh, Muriel’s I remember it well. I am not sure that I ever ate there. I might have as a small child. But of course I remember it from walking by so many times. I don’t remember it being red however. It was the classic “Diner” made from an old RR Dining car.
    The only one I don’t remember is the South Port Diner. Sherwood Diner…..If you were really lucky you just might see Paul Newman there. I still make it a must stop when I get back to Westport.

  2. You missed the granddaddy of diners on the corner of Post Rd opp old library/corner of Post Rd and Taylor Place that was greenIt was owned by the late Lee Pappageorge ‘s grandfather .There was another diner there even earlier
    After Westnor closed down a reincarnation of it was on the Parker Harding side where Talbot ‘s is now Owner/manager was named Rudy 60’s high school hangout
    There was also a diner on Parker Harding side of old library /near Starbucks

  3. George’s Diner on East State Street across from the current Fresh Market run by George Slingo. Smitty’s Diner on the corner of Bay Street and East State Street

    • George Slingo, from Bowling Lane, with a sister named Patty? If it’s him, I haven’t seen him in decades.

      • It was his father who moved the diner to the building to the right of Carvel. The property was owned by Sereno Jennings who built the building for George who sadly died of a heart attack not long after opening at the new location.

      • Nancy-Anne Pandolfi

        Jack my dad is George Slingo and he died in 1959. My brother is also George Slingo and he also passed in 2011. I am George’s sister, Nancy and Patty is also George’s sister.

  4. I remember the Westnor Diner at Sylvan Road after it closed (as in my photo there) and before it closed. The memories are about the same – nothing special. It became more of a truck stop at night (when all trucks travelled the Post Road). There was better food at the Club Grill which much later became Muriel’s with the trolley car decorations, but no “e”.

  5. Pal Joey’s was a great Westport luncheonette. Near Baker Graphics. I had many lunches there when the Fairfield County Advocate was based nearby. Very unpretentious. No reductions, glazes, French names. Not strictly a diner since it was in a storefront.

  6. John F. "Jack"" Wandres

    Spring, 1952. Louise V. Higgins (sister to Tribune correspondent Marguerite Higgins); drama teacher at Staples High (Riverside Drive version). We were rehearsing a student version of “South Pacific.” About 11:30 one night after we wrapped, she and a bunch of us convened at the Westnor. With all of us porto-thespians still on a high from the rehearsal, Higgins led us in an a capella version of one of the songs from the show. I recall we got a standing ovation from the staff and truckers.

  7. S & S Dugout across from Organika is at the corner of Center St and US Rt 1.
    66 plus years in business now.
    The son is keeping the business going.
    Straight out of the 1950’s

  8. My first midnight shift on the WPD in October 1959, breakfast was at Elwood’s Diner on the Post Road opposite the trailer park. It was run by Walt and Walt Jr. Elwood who opened at 4:30 am and my mentor and Shift Commander, Sgt. Carmine DeMattio picked up the tab as a welcoming gesture.

    • I knew both Walt and his son. My father used to take me there in the mid 1950s for pancakes. Walt Sr. was a victim of mustard gas during World War 1, and that’s why he wheezed.

  9. My favorite growing up was The Thunderbird diner. It too was on the Southport line – pretty close to where Dunkin Donuts is now. So good!

  10. Jill Turner Odice

    Ed’s Diner on the Post Rd on the right on the Wspt/Norwalk line…We used to go there after :Last call for alcohol” at Players Tavern. Cheeseburger Deluxe plate ….

  11. When we moved to North Sylvan in 1977 the Westnor diner was there at the bottom of the hill but I think it had already closed.

  12. “v” and me. Whaddayouse guys want from an “auslander”

  13. We called the Diner across from the old Library on the corner of Taylor Place and the Post Road, Jack’s Diner. I started going there with friends after school starting when I was in junior high school. I loved Jack, the curmudgenly but lovable older man behind the counter, Lee and Fufi. When I worked at the Westport Bank and Trust, I would have lunch there. On Fridays, I would have (the best) chicken noodle soup and roast beef sandwich on a hard roll. The other diner we would frequent once we had our drivers’ licenses, was the Westnor. It was a place where friends would meet up, and , of course, we would “cruise the boulevard,” the beach, the Westnor and the Dairy Queen. I actually skipped my first period class a couple of times to have breakfast with friends at the Westnor.

  14. Do you remember the pinball machine at the back of the diner, by the side door? As the ball came sailing down through the obstacles, if you slowly and carefully raised the front legs off the floor (without tripping the cut-off mechanism) it was possible to have that little ball roll back up, then come down again to score beaucoup points and earn a free game. Question: What was the name of the tall guy who worked behind the counter — not Jack, himself?

  15. I started going there in the 1950s. Jack was the older man with the white hair behind the counter, and I think he was also the cook. The taller, younger man with dark hair was Lee Pappageorge, although he was not the same Pappageorge that later owned Oscar’s. The pinball machine sounds vaguely familiar but I’m not 100% sure.

  16. Dory Boland Skemp (back in those days I was called Puddy)

    I remember the Westnor well in the 1950s because my friends San and Jenny lived on North Sylvan Road and the three of us would bike there to buy a brown paper bag full of french fries for 25 cents. They tasted soooo good and by the time we got back to their house, the fries were mostly gone and the bag was disgustingly greasy! Jack’s Diner, across from the Library, was where a bunch of us sometimes would go after school (Bedford Junior High). It must have been an order of french fries again, maybe a plate full of them?

  17. The Souhtport Diner was torn down to make way for the Southport Crossing Office building. It was not on the corner of the Post Road and Hulls Highway. Organika’s building years ago was a barber shop, Vincent’s Decorators, Southport News, a small take out food business before the building was remolded to make way for Organika.

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