Routine demolition uncovers old Meriden diner - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Routine demolition uncovers old Meriden diner

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MERIDEN, CT (WFSB) -

Longtime residents might be able to remember a diner built on the corner of East Main and Broad streets in Meriden, and Monday part of that history was uncovered.

The diner was built back in the 1940s, and it was discovered during a routine demolition.

The diner still stands and much of it is intact and in good condition.

The diner was discovered after demolition began on the Meriden bike shop building.

Longtime local 83-year-old George Kroeber, of Meriden, said he remembers the diner that he said had the first steamed cheeseburgers in town.

"It built up the city. People would come out and have a steamed cheeseburger," Kroeber said.

The diner from the 1940s stands alone on the corner of East Main and Broad streets and was uncovered after decades.

Hugh Kerridan, a construction worker for Brico Environmental Remediation, said the building was built around and added to and was "basically just a shell."

"When we took the roof off, all of the walls just went," and collapsed, Kerrigan added.

Crews were working to demolish an old bicycle shop, and midway through the project on Thursday night strong winds blew over many trees and branches in Meriden, and that wasn't all.

"The walls had nothing holding them up anymore and they just fell over - maybe with a little bit of wind," Kerrigan said.

When the walls crumbled, the diner emerged from the rubble.

Kerrigan said the building is still in very good condition, all of the stainless steel is there and it is structurally sound.

Even though the old diner stood long after it was supposed to be gone, the demolition will continue, which will finally close the doors on this longtime landmark.

"It will be knocked down, leveled, and be a nice green lawn," Kerrigan added.

When the diner opened, it was silver fronted and used to be the old Washington Diner in Hartford.

It cost $28,000 to move and repair, it seated 75 people, and the spacious parking lot was touted as the biggest attraction.

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