'Crazy Idea': Watch crane lower vintage '50s diner onto MN street corner


There are some big happenings on the corner of E. Lake St. and S. 41st Ave. in Minneapolis – like, for instance, a giant crane lowering a 1950s diner car onto the site of a former Taco Bell.

Say hello to the new (well, new to Minnesota) Hi-Lo Diner, which is undergoing a "makeover" as the owners prepare for their grand opening.

Facebook update on the project says it started out as a "crazy idea" to "take an old diner, refurbish it," and move it to the Twin Cities.


According to Finance & Commerce, the duo (also behind the popular Blue Door Pub) searched far and wide. They found what they were looking for – a stainless steel, art deco dining car that originally opened in the 1950s.

But it was all the way out in Cleveland.

So they sent trucks out east to haul it all the way to the south Minneapolis corner, where a crane picked it up and lowered it into place earlier this month.


The owners wryly remarked it was "just like Tetris":

Built by a company that specialized in manufacturing restaurants meant to resemble railroad dining cars, it started life as the Venus Diner in 1958 in Gibsonia, Pennsylvania. The spot closed in 2007, the publication says.

As of this week, the restaurant still has a ways to go before its resurrection, with the owners saying "lots of work" remains to be done on the renovation.

So, the big question: how long do we have to wait to belly up to the counter? The website promises a "late 2015" opening.

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