Friday, October 1, 2010
O'Rourke's Diner in Middletown, CT) and how it had become a special tradition for us. Well, the reason it is so special is that because we almost lost it a few years ago. My uncle's diner burned down in 2006 (after the steamed cheeseburger machine was left on over night and sparked - ironically the maker of my favorite item at the diner). Because my uncle did not have fire insurance, the cost to rebuild was in the $350,000 range. Miraculously, almost half was raised through fundraising and donations (did I mention that O'Rourke's diner is like a Middletown and CT landmark?) the diner reopened in 2008 and we were able to resume our tradition.
Since it's reopening, the diner has continued to thrive and be a huge success. Not that it wasn't insanely popular before, but all I know is that everytime I drive by, there is a line stretched out on the sidewalk for people waiting to get in. Constant press from local media agencies and a spotlight on the Food Network doesn't hurt either. And of course, the main reason people love it is because my uncle is a phenomenal chef and just about everyone who has ever heard of the diner learns that quickly!
Anyway, last week Emma and I took a day trip back to the hometown and Emma got to visit the diner and Uncle Brian. Hopefully the first visit of many more to come!