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DK Diner West Chester PA – Under The Green Awning is a Vintage Diner! A Chester County Vintage Diner

Posted on: September 27, 2009


  • address: 609 E Gay St, West Chester, PA 19380
  • Phone: (610) 692-2946
  • web: http://www.dkdiner.com/
  • note: cash only (ATM onsite) Breakfast and Lunch only

2017 Update: We recently started revisiting some of the original “cool vintage places” we started Retro Roadmap with, and are always happy to report when much hasn’t changed.

Our re-visit to the DK Diner in West Chester was spot on as far as tasty lunch, friendly service and vintage ambiance.

Here are a few photos to encourage YOU to check out this 1953 Mountain View built diner!

DK Diner West Chester PA - Pennsylvania - Retro Roadmap 2017

Sit at the counter, in a booth, or for larger parties there is an addition in the back (according to the PA Diner Bible aka  Diners of Pennsylvania the addition is from 1955.)

DK Diner West Chester PA - Pennsylvania - Retro Roadmap 2017

In my post from 2009 I noted the vintage clock above the kitchen door, and am happy to see it is still there!

DK Diner West Chester PA - Pennsylvania - Retro Roadmap 2017

Speaking of “things hanging above your head in a diner” – as you are in the vestibule exiting the diner don’t forget to check out the Mountain View Diner Tag with the diner’s serial number on it:

DK Diner West Chester PA - Pennsylvania - Retro Roadmap 2017

Open for just breakfast and lunch, we perused the menu for our meals. Note for purists: The front of the menu mentions that the diner business has been here since 1947, this diner you actually are in is 6 years newer than that. This diner replaced an earlier diner (The Modern Diner according to Diners of PA) so that’s where the discrepancy comes from.

But back to the menu – I got the chicken croquettes and daresay they’re as good as my faves at The Fisherman in Phoenixville!

DK Diner West Chester PA - Pennsylvania - Retro Roadmap 2017

One of the kind young folks working at the restaurant told us she thought that the D K in the diner name stood for the names of earlier owners, Davis and Kappy. There’s little I can dig up about that, however in the “things you’ll see below your feet at the diner” you’ll spy their initials inlaid into the ceramic tile floor at the counter:

DK Diner West Chester PA - Pennsylvania - Retro Roadmap 2017

Still cash only, though there is an ATM in the entrance to the addition for your convenience.

Our original post from 2009:

The DK diner in West Chester PA is open from 6am-2:30pm which is why it was always closed whenever we drove by. I don’t know why it took us so long to check it out, except maybe that I was a bit miffed that they were hiding a perfectly beautiful 1953 Mountainview diner under a wacky picket fence hat and awnings. But I decided to look past that aesthetic error and we made our way there on a rare weekend at home, and were happy with what we found.

DK Diner

Our diner breakfasts were plenty big, and they even offered grits as a side order! Retro Roadhusband was impressed with the coffee, and I dug my corned beef hash.

DK Diner diners

There was definitely that homey feeling in the diner, folks at the counter chatting about babies with the people working there, and the hostess was pleasant as can be. Cool old advertising clock above the kitchen door too!

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  • Looks like a nice place and you can’t beat a plate o’ grits!

    • Grits aren’t too common here in PA, so it was a treat to have some! I like to try to mix it up when I see things that are different on the menu. Except for scrapple, I don’t do scrapple!

  • dinerhotline

    Grits are cool, scrapple not so much. Even the name would throw me off!

  • Suzanna Dougherty

    I am a local in WC and have been for years. I was wondering if anyone had any information about the diner origins. Who started running it and if it was family owned?
    I could go into the archieves but I thought maybe someone around here would be able to answer these questions. I am looking for the ‘history’ of the place.
    Thanks to you, I hope I can get some facts.
    S

    • Hello Suzanna- thanks for stopping by Retro Roadmap! I don’t really know the origins or history of this diner but I know a few folks who might be able to help you our. One is Randy Garbin who runs Roadside http://www.roadsideonline.com, he’s got an extensive Diner Finder that lists practically if not every diner in the country on it. The other knowledgeable gent is Larry Cultrera of Diner Hotline http://dinerhotline.wordpress.com/ – if they can’t help you I bet they know someone who can. Let me know what you find out!

    • Hi Suzanna,

      This is the history that I know.

      The orginal DK owners were the Davis and Kappe families. I think that Ed (?) Kappe was the managing partner. My uncle and aunt, Gus and Rosemary Correa, purchased the Diner in 1986. I’ve been working there since 1986. After so many years, I still enjoy every minute of it. Let me know if you have any other questions. – Adriana

      • Adriana- thanks so much for responding to Suzanna’s query! Now all of us know a little bit more about the diner. thanks so much for sharing, and keep up the good work- we love authentic vintage diners!

      • Suzanna Dougherty

        Adriana – hello again!

        I appreciate your reply and haven’t been able to get too much more information on the original owners of the diner other than the info that you have provided.
        I will keep on searching.
        The Kappe family is of interest to me as I believe I have relatives in Philadelphia or had — maybe if I track them down, I will have more of a complete history of the Diner and their part in its origins.
        My mothers friend knew of the Kappe’s, but didn’t mention a Ed, only her friend, Elizabeth who married a Dougherty.
        The diner has such a good feel…family, friends and getting together–the food is very good too!
        Thank you, again for your input.

        • Thanks so much for sharing whatever info you know about the DK here on Retro Roadmap, I’m sure it’s of interest to all our readers!

  • Suzanna Dougherty

    Mod Betty – thank you for the info and I will certainly follow up and I will let you know what I find out.
    Thanks a bunch! Suzanna

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