A Brief History of the American Diner

            Southern FL – Delightfully delicious dishes! That’s what Tower Deli and Diner aims to deliver every time we have a customer walk in through our doors. Serving the good people of Fort Lauderdale, Davie and the greater area of Southern FL for more than 28 years now, we’ve been dishing out mouth-watering, filling homemade goodness that makes our customers want to come back time and time again. Our food is fresh and made from the finest quality ingredients, with some love, passion and expertise mixed in. If you’re looking for a world-class catering service, or a homey diner restaurant in Fort Lauderdale, Tower Deli is just the place you’re looking for. Contact us by calling 954-452-8202 now! We’re open year-round from 6:30 am to 3:00 pm. Come visit us at 2315 S University Dr, Davie, FL 33324, US of A!

            We at Tower Deli are extremely happy to have been able to serve hundreds upon hundreds of customers good food, and even more happy to have hundreds upon hundreds more of customers walk out of our doors full and satisfied. If there’s one thing our team is passionate about, its sharing good food as well as a great dining experience to every one of our customers whether it’s through our diner restaurant or services in catering in Fort Lauderdale. But did you know that the concept of an American diner has social and cultural roots deeply embedded in the history of the USA? Diners haven’t been as fancy or as cozy as we know them today, but even with the diner’s humble beginnings, it has served plenty of those in need.

Meals on Wheels – from the Wagon to the Lunch Car

            The history of the American diner traces its beginnings back to the late 19th century, where a person named Water Scott, a printer from the state of Rhode Island, decided to quit his job and repurpose some horse-drawn wagons in order to serve food to people. This idea of his—the food wagon, went on serving sandwiches, coffee, pies, and eggs to people late into the night and the wee hours of the morning. This idea of a quaint place to get food from nightfall to twilight would go on and develop into fully-manufactured lunch cars courtesy of T.H. Buckley during the 1900s. Mr. Buckley figured out that designing and manufacturing lunch cars were more profitable than actually running one, so he pioneered an industry and sent the concept of a diner booming through the charts. In 1913, the first stationary diner (one that had no wheels under it and was placed firmly on the ground) was built by Jerry Mahoney.

World War 1 and the Great Depression

            The first half of the 20th century wasn’t so quiet and peaceful for America. With the First World War happening between the Allies (Britain, France, Russia, Italy, and the USA) and the Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria), America was thrown into a whirlwind of developments and drastic changes. Particularly, this phase also brought a number of changes and improvements to the public image of the diner. The diner began to furnish flower boxes, wallpaper and other dainty designs to cater to the women who remained at home because of the war.

            In the 1930s, diners underwent a visual revival into a more sleek, modern and streamlined design that depicted the image of a more developed America. Around the same time, the Great Depression happened, and the diner business was booming thanks to its convenient store hours and cheap meals.

World War 2

            During the middle of the 20th century, the world experienced the Second World War fought between the Allied and the Axis Powers. With a conflict spanning across the globe from East to West, cultural exchanges were bound to happen. The diner was one of the concepts from America that found its way to Europe, and when diners were built in Europe, they were supporting the business back in the USA. Diners during this time adopted a “retro” feel, that of which we know it for today.

The Modern-Day Diner

            Up until today, the diner is still a booming business that sees no end in its industry in the near or far future. In popular culture, diners are prolifically portrayed as places of respite or self-reflection, especially during night times, a time when diners are most commonly known for. Newer movies like Harry Potter or timeless classics like Pulp Fiction have references to diners.

            Furthermore, diners are present in every state of America. This has allowed different states and regions to showcase their unique cultural characteristics through the design, layout and workings of their diners. New Jersey is known as the Diner Capital of the World, for having the most diners worldwide.

            Diners have played important parts in American history, serving as places of rest, relaxation, or simply just a reliable place to get good yet affordable food no matter what time of the day. From filling breakfasts to start a day right, or hot coffee and some eggs to snack on during the middle of the night, diners have served the people of America in ways more than one.

Tower Deli, your Diner and Catering in Fort Lauderdale

            We are more than proud and passionate to be part of this handsome tradition of America! Tower Deli lives up to the diner name serving good food to those who are looking for it. We cater all kinds of events, from business to personal—if you want a world-class dining experience at your venue, we’ve got what you’re looking for. Call us now at 954-452-8202 for any inquiries, or visit Tower Deli at 2315 South University Drive, Davie, Florida!

Voted No.1 by Sun-Sentinel

Best Delicatessen & Bagel Shop of 2005, 2006,
2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 & 2013

Live well. Eat well.