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.
In the early 1950s, Peter Barlow took this photo:
Here’s the back story. The car-carrying truck was parked outside the Westnor Diner one evening. The Westnor was on the corner of Post Road West and Sylvan Road North — where J. Pocker and Belmondo are now. The diner’s name comes from its Westport location, near Norwalk — get it?
In those days — before I-95 — all trucks traveled on the Post Road. It was a mess. As much as we loathe the highway, it’s taken tons of traffic off our streets.
Peter — who took this photo with an amateur camera (using a flashbulb) — figures that with all the snow on the truck, the driver was inside “having a leisurely meal.”
This is a serene scene. But directly across the street, a few years earlier — on May 2, 1946 — a truck blew a tire, smashing into a drum filled with vulcanizing cement.
The resulting explosion set off a spectacular blaze. Fire chief Frank Dennert, former fire chief Francis Dunnigan, and 2 other firefighters were killed. Eight people were injured. It was one of the worst disasters in Westport history.