Monday, October 17, 2011

Rosie’s Diner - RIP, for now

Beginning life in 1946 as the Silver Dollar Diner in New Jersey, the diner came to national attention as the set of a series of commercials for Bounty paper towels featuring Nancy Walker as the waitress, Rosie. The commercials began in 1970 and sometime during that decade, the diner was renamed in honor of its most famous waitress.
Purchased in 1991 by a Michigan artist, the diner was brought to Rockford and opened for business. Two additional diner cars eventually joined Rosie’s, and a new owner took over all of them in 2006.  One car was converted into a sports bar, and later closed.  The other car was turned into a seasonal ice cream shop in September 2010.
Last July, we had a fun lunch at the charming diner and enjoyed the 1950s decor, spicy cheeseburger soup, a sourdough melt, a cheeseburger, and well-prepared onion rings.
On October 2, a temporary closing for renovations turned permanent when the owner closed the doors. Employees were left without notice and without their last paychecks. The business is in a poor location, and with 30 full and part-time employees it was probably over-staffed but the new owner gave it a go. Before she bought it, the property was seconds away from the auction block after a default by an earlier buyer, so it’s a difficult proposition at best. 
So cheers to Rosie’s Diner and its new life, somewhere down the road, maybe near you.
The quicker picker upper :)

4/27/12 Update:  The diners were sold at auction yesterday.

5/7/12 Update: Here's a link to the latest news.

Rosie's Diner on Urbanspoon