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Millbrook Diner – Mary Tyler Moore Ate Here! Millbrook, New York

Posted on: January 30, 2017



Just a few minutes off of New York’s Taconic Parkway is a charming little village with a charming little diner – the Millbrook Diner, in Millbrook, NY.

Mod Betty had an opportunity to break up her drive northward with a memorable breakfast at this vintage O’Mahony-built stainless diner, installed here in 1952.

Millbrook Diner Millbrook NY Retro Roadmap

This shiny diner with the great neon open sign and “Stop! Time to Eat” clock is owned by Thanasi Theodoropoulos who purchased it in 1991. It had replaced a 1929 era diner on the same location, as shown on the historic marker outside the diner.

Millbrook Diner Millbrook NY New York - Retro Roadmap

 

Quick aside about that carved “Cigar Store Indian” sign –  too interesting not to share:

Millbrook Diner Millbrook NY New York Retro Roadmap

Originally created by Millbrook resident Peter Wing in 1976, this is a faithful reproduction of that sign, commissioned by diner owner Thanasi Theodoropoulos when the original became too weathered and broken.

Peter Wing created these signs for many businesses in town during the Bicentennial, but he is ALSO famous for building  Wing Castle, constructed with reclaimed architectural cast-offs, and now a Bed and Breakfast. You know how Mod Betty loves these folks that make cool new stuff out of old things? Put Wing Castle on my bucket list! 

Back to the diner 🙂

Millbrook Diner Millbrook NY New York - Retro Roadmap

One of the great things about a diner is sitting at the counter, you can’t help but overhear bits of peoples’ conversations.

When the two older gents to my side started mentioning that their “town dump” was now called a Transfer Station, I leaned over to mention the same thing happened in my original home town. I then found myself exchanging pleasantries with life-long “Millbrooker” Skip Dickson, while waiting for my breakfast to arrive.

And arrive, it did.

Millbrook Diner Millbrook NY New York - Retro Roadmap

As you can see from my plate, I was trying to cut back, and only got one egg 😉 I loved the opportunity to switch my home fries for fruit salad. Almost healthy!

Sadly the vintage wallbox juke boxes, Seeburg speakers and original pay phone in the back vestibule are not operable, but still add to the vintage charm of this little diner.

Millbrook Diner Millbrook NY New York - Retro Roadmap

So, you may be asking…what’s all this about Mary Tyler Moore eating at this diner? 

Skip mentioned to me in passing how many famous people had eaten in the diner throughout the years – James Cagney, Katie Couric, and yes, Mary Tyler Moore. You see, he noted – Mary Tyler Moore  used to LIVE in Millbrook.

Insert wide-eyed HUH?! Emoticon!

I’m sure Skip saw the look of genuine surprise on my face when he mentioned MTM, and for me this was too much of a coincidence to be ignored

Not only had she just sadly passed away a few days prior, but I had just finished listening to an interview with her and Terry Gross on the NPR podcast as I pulled into the parking lot of the diner, so she was on my mind as I drove through town.

AND just moments before Skip and I started chatting at the counter,  I had been looking at my cellphone and saw this “Quote of the day” in my spam folder, and screenshotted it for future inspiration.

Millbrook Diner Millbrook NY New York - Retro Roadmap

To learn just moments after I did that,  that Mary used to live up the street a few miles AND had eaten at this very same diner that I randomly happened to be in? Wild.

I can tell you I definitely felt her presence, and decided she was telling me, “You’re Gonna Make It After All!

 

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