Americana comes in various forms but nothing beats the old-fashioned diner, which combines two of the nation's fondest pastimes -- hitting the road and eating. These palaces of plain but hearty food -- served by waitresses likely to call you "Hon" -- were on roads such as the historic Lincoln Highway.
Now known as Route 30, the Lincoln Highway was conceived in 1913 as a national road crossing the continent from coast to coast. In the highway's centenary year, a Cadillac of a diner, closed since 1992, has been fittingly honored after a successful restoration.
Serro's Diner in Westmoreland County, opened by the Serro family of Irwin in 1938, received a Pennsylvania Historic Preservation Award on July 9 for preservation by a construction project of a historic property. In 2003, the Senator John Heinz History Center donated the building to the nonprofit Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor, which oversaw the restoration using private, state and federal funds.
But federal funding dried up, leaving the diner languishing in a warehouse until more money can be raised to move it to the new Lincoln Highway Experience museum in Latrobe. Diner fans can help by writing a check to the Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor, 3435 Route 30 East, Latrobe, PA 15650. Think of it as a belated tip.