IRWIN (KDKA) — The original Ritter’s Diner was moved from Bloomfield to Station Square in 1983.
Friday morning, it was on the road again for a much longer journey. A flatbed truck carried it all the way to Irwin and a concrete slab beside the renovated Lamp Theater.
“We’re going to be going through this wall right here, to hook up with the courtyard on the other side, actually the diner on the other side, when it arrives,” says theater manager John Cassandro.
He says a hole in the wall and a breezeway will connect the concession area with the diner.
Spectators line the sidewalks as the diner makes its way down Main Street.
“I think it’s fantastic,” said Lamp Theater volunteer Christina Gibbs. “Just the fact that we’re rescuing a piece of history, and getting to have it here will provide additional space for customers when they come.”
The 66-year-old diner comes to a stop in front of the 80-year-old theater.
“That’s going to be a wonderful addition to the Lamp,” said Irwin Mayor Bill Hawley.
Spectators quickly discover that transporting the diner to Irwin was the easy part. Backing a diner-laden flatbed from a narrow street to a location just large enough to hold it takes considerable skill. The short distance will take more time than the ride from Station Square.
Onlookers marvel as driver Corey Alexander makes it look — almost easy.
“You got your power lines up above you, telephone poles on the side of the road,” he explains. “A lot of people sitting around. Here in Irwin, they did a pretty good job of keeping people back, giving us enough room to move, and everything went pretty smooth.”
Theater supporters couldn’t be happier.
“I think we got it done in record time,” said project manager Mike Pochan. “Only started on it Jan. 2. So, here we are.”