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April  12

Where's the Glass and Chrome?

Anyone who ate in the old Willie's Diner in Bloomfield will remember that special Vegas ambience that came with their small stack. Well, unless there's a big shipment of chrome on order, it appears that the new Willie's, which looks almost ready-for-primetime, has undergone a personality change. With a desert pastel color scheme and and a harlequin motif, it looks more Nursing Home Modern than Vegas to us.

What's this archictectural style called? Or better yet, what should it be called? And why don't they build diners anymore that look like this?

April 12, 2006 in Brand New | Permalink


There is an extended care facility on Rt 287 in Wanaque that looks just like this...

Too bad. I have many happy memories of breakfast with my grandmother after church there.

Posted by: BigBob | Apr 12, 2006 5:00:38 PM

I remember being irked about the switch to glass and chrome from the now old-old Willy's brick facade. I'm still not sure if I like this new-new Willy's better though. One thing is for sure though- anything would be better than the crazy green squiggle motif Nevada's taken on in the past few years.

Posted by: Meghan | Apr 12, 2006 5:41:03 PM

The Nevada is one of those things that's so ugly it's beautiful. Kinda retro-looking... don't really mind it!

Posted by: mauigirl52 | Apr 12, 2006 5:42:02 PM

How do the diners do it? What process is commonly used by all to somehow extract the flavor from the food? Must be radiation off the mirrors.

Posted by: Johnny | Apr 12, 2006 6:06:45 PM

The architectural style, to me, just cries out "Bring your graffiti Southwestern."

Posted by: crank | Apr 12, 2006 8:10:17 PM

"breakfast with my grandmother after church"

BigBob, you and I are very different. I have no such memories, but I wish I did.

Posted by: walleroo | Apr 12, 2006 8:33:30 PM

I still miss the Claremont Diner that used to be in Clifton on Route 3.

Posted by: ClashCityRocker | Apr 12, 2006 9:33:57 PM

Which is not to be confused with the original Clairmont (sp.?), which was at the juncture of 23 and Bloomfield Avenue. Next to, thank you, Jesus, a White Castle. Those were truly halcyon days for night owls.

It's very rare in Jersey that a diner goes out of business. I wonder what the story was about both Clairmonts. I'm also disappointed that Willie's is breaking the sacred tacit rule among diner owners that all diners have to incorporate Aegean blue and Athenian white in their color scheme.

Posted by: cathar | Apr 12, 2006 10:05:08 PM

Clairmont Dinner in(corner bloomfield and Pompton Ave. Verona had a fire many years ago. It was owned by the Bauman family with Morris Bauman on his microphone placating guests waiting for tables. The place was a shoot off of the Weeqhaic Diner in Newark. Same family. After the Verona fire the place was rebuilt to handle a larger group of diners yet it never made it back to its heyday and eventually closed. It became another restaurant and closed as well. Emerged as a car dealership and thrives. Cannot tell you how Sundays meant the Clairmont Diner and the owner Morris knew everyone and was always respectful and extremely well groomed and dressed. It was his honor to have you as a patron. Class act while it lasted.

Posted by: DiPoz | Apr 12, 2006 10:24:57 PM

speaking of tom cruise,
the sony movie execs went to a screening of MI-3 and during one of the scenes where tom was getting beaten up, the audience was clapping. the execs are now worried that his reputation is so damaged that they won't go see him as an action hero.

Posted by: Iceman | Apr 12, 2006 10:27:21 PM

Was the fire that destroyed the original and expanded Claremont Diner suspicious in origin? I believe it occurred at a time when the business was on a serious decline

Posted by: Byron | Apr 12, 2006 11:37:52 PM

that's pretty bad looking. if i was asked to say what kind of business it looks like, i'd say costume rental. i bet you could get a really nice clown outfit.

sure hope their food is better than their taste in design.

Posted by: cheeze | Apr 13, 2006 7:48:30 AM

Willie's is no where near being ready for business. If you look inside the interior is in need of finished walls and floors. Methinks that the electrical work is on the agenda now. The holes in the exterior appear to be waiting for fixtures as well. Could they be chrome, hmmmm?

The all-time classic Joisey diner for me is the Harris (pronounced Har-eez) Diner in East Orange. They used to, and may still, shoot TV commercials there for that original ambiance.

Posted by: Krys O. | Apr 13, 2006 8:06:42 AM

ah, 2 eggs over easy, home fries, toast and ham at 2:00am...that's joisey diner food. And of course the waitress who calls everyone in your group, honey.

Posted by: Iceman | Apr 13, 2006 8:18:51 AM

To hell with nevada diner..
Bring back Boardwalk Bennies!

Posted by: jimmythecreep | Apr 13, 2006 8:48:55 AM

i thought it was daaaaahling!

Posted by: pissant | Apr 13, 2006 8:49:54 AM

Chicken salad club with bacon on rye, not toasted with a LARGE cup of coffee to go, please. How did my digestive system ever tolerate that? Ah, misspent youth.

Oh, just recalled that I saw a Horizon Blue Cross TV commercial last night that featured Rutt's Hut in Clifton. Anyone else see that?

Posted by: Krys O. | Apr 13, 2006 8:52:25 AM

"And of course the waitress who calls everyone in your group, honey."

Of course, it ain't a complete Joisey experience unless she has a beehive hairdo and asks, "What are yous having?"

Posted by: Miss Martta | Apr 13, 2006 8:53:31 AM

That architecture is akin to the Truman Show School of Mall.

Posted by: Krys O. | Apr 13, 2006 8:54:05 AM

As you approach the new Willie's from a Bloomfield-to-Montclair direction on Bloomfield Ave., it does look like there was some sort of thought process behind the color scheme and scale of the new building. It blends in with the Catholic church and other buildings behind it now.

By the way, I noticed that the White Circle diner in Bloomfield (on Bloomfield Ave. near Grove, more or less across from Wendy's) is closed now, and the tiny little classic chrome building (it's about the size of an RV)is for sale or lease.

Posted by: skipwith | Apr 13, 2006 9:05:34 AM

Whatever happened with Montclair State's Red Hawk diner? It is architectually correct (photo 1, photo 2, photo 3), but when it opened it was being operated by the school's cafeteria services. Hardly the authentic greek diner experience. Soon after it opened, the buzz died. Anyone eaten there?

Posted by: Jim | Apr 13, 2006 9:18:51 AM

"Cannot tell you how Sundays meant the Clairmont Diner and the owner Morris knew everyone and was always respectful and extremely well groomed and dressed. It was his honor to have you as a patron. Class act while it lasted."

DiPoz, you sure brought back some great memories!! Sunday after Mountain Crest Swim Club, the complimentary "Clairmont Salad" always on the table and great food (if not always healthy).

Posted by: BHMike | Apr 13, 2006 9:27:19 AM

OOhhh the Clarmont salad and those creamy cheesecakes... We need places with CHARACTER. But character is elusive and not amenable to formulas.

Something to do with caring and integrity. (old values) I can't wait for Willie's to come back. There's no where to eat in Bloomfield and the Nevada overwhelms me.

Posted by: quaker-oats | Apr 13, 2006 9:35:12 AM

Someone has to preserve the White Circle System (not a dinner, really) if only for the unique structure.

Posted by: Krys O. | Apr 13, 2006 10:04:56 AM


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