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Ed’s Easy Diner – a legend continues
Ed’s is a much loved retro-American diner that successfully captures the spirit of the classic US originals, iconic symbols of an unforgettable period in the history of that country.
It was a time characterised by a feel-good, optimistic mood that influenced the music, the design and the culture of a unique era. Ed’s brings that story to life, at the same time delivering a quality eating experience at great value prices.
It was over a quarter of a century ago that Ed’s Easy Diner opened its doors in the Soho district of London, bringing to town the culture of 1950′s America.
Its shiny chrome fittings, red and white signature colour scheme and dazzling neon signage quickly made it a noted landmark, on the dining itinerary of locals and tourists alike.
To the story of all classic diners – a quick bite, reliable food, sassy service and customers always remembered, Ed’s added fun and nostalgia.
From Day 1, everyone loved Ed’s, proving that nothing quite works like Elvis Presley, a great hamburger, a big bowl of fries and the best milkshake in town! And nowadays our reputation has spread, and with more Ed’s around we’ve even become a hotspot choice for film and TV locations, photo shoots and celebrity guests.
Today we’re taking Ed’s Easy Diner to many more locations, always remembering our ethos from the beginning – “Quality Forever”. And as for the original Soho diner, we’re still there, rocking ‘n rolling every day and much of the night, and all set for the next 25 years of fun, food and fame!
At Ed’s Easy Diner we actively support and greatly value our relationship with a number of admirable organisations, both local and national. Some of them are listed below, but individual Diner teams are often involved in other local fund-raising or sponsorship activities.
- Founded in 2013, The Good Food Talks app allows the UK’s nearly 2 million visually impaired people to access restaurant menus independently, quickly and easily in restaurants or at home. For more information visit: www.GoodFoodTalks.com
- Under several names, Hospitality Action has, for over 100 years, been our industry’s benevolent association. For current or past employees in hospitality, HA has always been there with grants to help in times of crisis or just visiting to combat loneliness. Hospitality Action also hosts our Employees Assistance Programme.Hospitality Action
- The British Hospitality Association, and its restaurant division The Restaurant Association, is the leading lobbying and trade organisation for our industry in this country. Its members include the great majority of hotel, restaurant and contract catering companies and thousands of individual proprietors.British Hospitality Association
… and Ed’s Charity of the Year
One of the many good reasons to visit an Ed’s Easy Diner is to enjoy the eclectic selection of 1950′s music that plays all the time. In numerous positions around every Diner you will see our classic ‘Dimeboxes’, or mini-jukeboxes.
Put 20p in the slot and pick a song – every penny goes to our favourite charity.
Currently, Ed’s Charity of the Year is “Action Against Hunger“, part of Action Against Hunger International (ACF). This renowned international humanitarian organisation is leading the fight against malnutrition, working with communities who struggle to secure access to sufficient food and clean water.
For further information about their goals, please go to www.actionagainsthunger.org.uk
If you’d like to make personal donation to our charity of the year, please go to https://secure-actionagainsthunger.netdonor.net/ea-campaign/action.retrievestaticpage.do?ea_static_page_id=4273
The History of Diners
The History of Diners
As an image in people’s minds, the Diner has always been a prefabricated restaurant building, clad with an exterior layer of stainless steel, typically located in Small-town, USA. In reality, it now also includes other restaurants that serve a wide range of ‘American’ foods with friendly service, booth seating, stools and a counter, and all-day service.
The first Diners, known as ‘lunch-wagons’, appeared in Rhode Island during the last quarter of the 19th century as horse-drawn vehicles. Customers were served outside through ‘walk-up windows’. By the end of that century they had evolved into fixed premises that included internal seating and a counter, much as we know them today. During the early years of the 20th century, a number of companies appeared in the North-East of the USA that manufactured Diners that were delivered for use all over the country.
Like a mobile home, the original style Diner is narrow and elongated which allowed for railway, and later, roadway transportation. This was a carry-over from the first ‘true’ Diners, which were actual dining cars on railways. When a dining car was no longer needed or fit for purpose, it was often ‘derailed’, and employed as a cheap restaurant near a train station or alongside the railroad at some other location. Food was simple, grilled and fried, and came with a chatty waitress and the legendary ‘bottomless cup of coffee’.
As people became more affluent, Diners were an attractive small-business opportunity, and demand outgrew the number of railcars available. Factories began to construct Diners from scratch, still the same shape and size, to facilitate flat-bed truck or rail delivery around the country. In this original floor-plan, a service counter dominated the interior, with a preparation and cooking area on the back wall and stools for the customers in front. Add-on sections could be ordered, allowing for a row of booths along the front wall or at the ends.
The economically strong 1950′s and 60′s were the boom times for the Diner, and many located in the centre or the suburbs of larger cities began to grow into much larger Diner-themed restaurants, often adding additional dining rooms featuring lavish wallpaper, fountains and crystal chandeliers. This sometimes left the original structure nearly unrecognizable, surrounded by its brick or wood-framed extensions. Businesses that called themselves Diners but which were built onsite and not prefabricated also began to appear.
This was also the golden era of the juke box, as rock ‘n roll emerged and its stars became famous not only nationally but around the world. No self-respecting Diner was without one, and ‘dropping in a coin and choosing a song’ became permanently identified as an essential part of the Diner experience.
As the 1970′s arrived, many independent Diners were superseded by newly established fast-food chains, usually strongly branded and highly attractive to a society with less time to spend dawdling over a coffee and a piece of pie.
Fortunately, a number of independent Diners still remain in business today, mainly in the North-East, and at the same time, movies and television have ensured the place of the Diner in the image of America around the world.