Modern Diner – First Diner on National Historic Register Pawtucket, RI
Posted on: February 3, 2010
- Phone: (401) 726-8390
- Handy: Cash only, breakfast & lunch
When I sent up a flare asking for Retro Roadmap-worthy places to visit in Rhode Island my pal Bill who lives in Arizona now but worked in the smallest state insisted that I eat at the Modern Diner in Pawtucket RI during my short jaunt home – and I was happy to oblige. Built in 1941, it is one of the few remaining Sterling Streamliner diners -easy to recognize by their “art deco train speeding down the track” look – and is the first diner ever to be placed on the National Historic Register.
The Modern is quite a beauty, with her cream and burgundy enameled panels and fab sign. I thank the folks at Quahog.org for clueing me into the fact that the reason the Modern is straight on one end is because in it’s original location in downtown it was snugged up against a building – I always thought it looked kinda weird!
I was up against a few obstacles during my visit to the diner in the fact that I did not realize ’til I was scrambling around in my purse that I had spent most of my cash with the Retro Roadkids the day before, and the diner is cash only. Also I was playing beat the clock as it was just about 1:30pm and they close at 2pm on a Sunday. Hence the fulfilling and affordable 2 eggs over with toast with a breakfast potato bonus, thought the diner is known for having more adventurous fare.
I asked for and was able to have a seat at the counter in the original part of the diner, and frankly did not even glance into the newly added on dining room portion. It seemed like most folks wanted to sit in the actual diner itself, with a key seat being the booth in the curved portion “at the front of the train”.
Photos of the interior of the diner would’ve revealed that the place was packed and bustling this Sunday morning, with folks streaming in-perhaps from church? and servers here there and everywhere. It was a nice scene, to know that this place is still thriving, and Bill, I thank you for the reminder of this historic diner just off 95!