The spirit of the old Diana Sweets diner in St Catharines has been resurrected (in a way) and you’ll never guess where!
Do you recall the old Diana Sweets in
St Catharines? The diner, which stood at 115
St Paul Street for more than 75 and years and served generations of teenagers their
first sodas and fries etc, is long gone! It closed in 1996.
But the "Di", which was once a fixture of downtown St Catharines … is back -- in a way -- or at least its fixtures are on display in (of all places) – a motorcycle shop in Niagara-on-the-Lake, about a 10 minute drive from its original location in downtown St Catharines.
These fixtures include the
beautifully crafted old wooden booths, tables, cabinets, mirrors and stained
glass from the 1920s.
They even have the old wall panelling!
So how did the carcass of the old Diana Sweets wind up in the back of a
motorcycle shop, of all places?
When the Di shut down in 1996, the interior was stripped and the whole lot sold at auction in 1996 to a Buffalo company. It went “over the river” (as we say in the Niagara region) and sat in storage for many years. A group was even formed, Friends of Diana Sweets, to “Save Our Diana Sweets”. There’s a page on a local realtor’s web site Sally Dollar with more information about it; people have written in to the site to add their memories of the diner.
Then, at some point, the owner of a motorcycle shop bought the fixtures. In 2012, he had it
installed by some local architects in the back of his HUGE shop at Clare's
Harley-Davidson Niagara, 590 York Road, Niagara on the Lake. It's NOT a restaurant, but he did set up
a coffee machine and fridge there, so if you’re feeling sentimental (or just
want to steady your nerves before making that Harley
purchase), you can sit in the old booths and relax. Your choices are coffee, tea, pop or water.
It's a great place to recall memories of youth...