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Author Writes Book On Classic Connecticut Diners

Garrison Leykam, an author and former television host on PBS, has written a new book “Classic Diners of Connecticut” which talks about some of the s...

Garrison Leykam, an author and former television host on PBS, has written a new book “Classic Diners of Connecticut” which talks about some of the state’s most famous eateries.

Here are some questions about the book with answers provided by Leykam.

Tell me about the research that went into it?

First, I identified all of the diners in Connecticut and sorted them by county. Then, I researched each diner as to its history, manufacturer and ownership. From there I set out on motorcycle with my camera and recorder to interview the owners and take photos of the diners.

Are there still diners in CT that have been unchanged since their origin?

Several Connecticut area diners have remained relatively true to their origins, including the Quaker Diner in West Hartford, the original section of the Olympia Diner in Newington, the Winsted Diner in Winsted, the Miss Washington Diner in New Britain, the Makris Diner in Wethersfield and the Collins Diner in North Canaan

What is your favorite?

It’s tough to pick just one as “my favorite.” However, being from the Farmington area, I will tell you that folks can often find me at the Main Street Diner in Plainville.

What are some of the best diner experiences you have had?

Some of the best diner experiences I’ve had as a kid were watching the grill cook who was right on the other side of the counter. I was always amazed at how he could orchestrate some many meals at once. That’s why I continue to love to this day watch Harry at the Quaker Diner or Dan at the Miss Washington Diner recreate those experiences. I also love going to the Main Street Diner when Pam the waitress is there, She is a cross between a stand-up comic and a sing-along leader always ready to burst into song with the patrons.

What makes a diner unique?

Its history, the manufacturer, how true its been to its original appearance and then there’s the “secret sauce” of any classic diners: the great home-cooked meals served at affordable prices by a staff that treats you like family.

How many are in Connecticut?

In addition to the 21 diners I’ve profiled in the book as “classic” and the four diners that are historically significant but no longer operative, I’ve listed over 30 additional diners in Connecticut by manufacturer.

Where is the oldest diner in the state?

The oldest operating diners I’ve profiled in the book are the Quaker Diner in West Hartford and the Winsted Diner in Winsted, both built in 1931.

For more information, visit http://thosedinerandmotorcycleguys.com.