Jun 21, 2009

The Unhappy Camper

One of the reoccurring themes on this blog is the unlevel playing field called Allentown. While one merchant is given a buffet of incentives, the rest struggle to pay their taxes, subsidizing their competition. Have you seen the commercial where one little girl is given a small toy pony, and the other a real one? The narrator says even children know when things aren't fair.

The dinner shown, at 9th and Linden, first was victimized by Allentown and Lanta doing away with the bus transfer stops. Add a few over zealous Parking Authority tickets and the city promotion of the chosen ones, low and behold, an unhappy camper. This dinner used to be a half block closer to Hamilton, right behind the PPL tower, before they built the annex. The dinner was moved in about 1970.


Ray G said...

A shame. I remember when it was Arner's Diner, and it was at it's old location behind the PPL Building. I also remember when the Boyd Theater, Pep Boys, Junior Boot Shop (kid's shoe store), et al were on that block where the PPL Annex is now.

Anonymous said...


The saddest part about this is that the new owners invested alot of time and energy to make this a clean and decent place to eat and conversate. The owner patronized local area shops and was known in the immediate community. He employed local residents, who were often single mothers who waitressed and gave service with a smile. The food was good also. I had nothing but positive experiences there. Unfortunately, it seems they are ANOTHER number to add to the businesses closed and lost in A-town...



michael molovinsky said...

a little history; in the old location, the dinner entrance on the side or narrow side faced 9th st. the long side was on court street. when the ppl decided to built the addition, the dinner was relocated to its current location. all the other businesses were torn down. the annex now bridges over court st.

ray g, i could not remember the name "arner's", but spend many nights there as a teenager. it was one of the first 24 hour dinners in allentown.

Anonymous said...

How many remember "Franks"? It was a family owned eating place on 9 TH between Linden and the alley behind Hess's. Close to the Hess's Pet Store.

We all know Allentown was a preview of the Promised Land. Growing up here before Allentown became a Commonwealth of Welfare for thousands was GREAT!

A nicer safer place to raise a family did not exist.

Now it isn't a preview of the Promised Land it is a "LAND FILL"

It is now filled with criminals, gangs, filth, and people who do not care how they look let alone they homes and properties.

If we had a Mayor like Nero we might have a chance at cleaning things up.

We were down to Reading last weekend. The Police in Reading are stopping all the drivers with darken windows and giving them tickets. They get so many days to clean off the material and replace their mufflers.

Apparently it is still against the State of PA. laws to have darken windows, just not in Allentown.

So why doesn't Allentown enforce it or the LOUD MUFFLERS.

Philadelphia is also ticketing cars with LOUD Mufflers that are not stock and darken windows.

In Allentown you can drive with Darken windows, Loud Mufflers, no insurance, no license and no common sense and you won't get a ticket.

Anonymous said...

They did a nice job fixing up the place after the fire but the hair in my gyro pretty much turned me off to the place.

michael molovinsky said...

i found an object in my food at a very well known respected eatery recently, unfortunately, these things happen.

Anonymous said...

I admit that I haven't stopped in this diner at all since it reopened. Thirty years ago it was a great lunch spot. Lots of folks from PPL and Hess's went there for lunch. By the early '90's it got to be a place where hookers could hang out near a street with active traffic and pay phone and that changed the place. Now everytime I drive by I think, "hey the hookers all have cell phones" so they're not hanging out just inside the door there anymore, and whoever ownes it really did clean the place up. It takes a lot of effort and good press for a business owner to "undo" the rap of a bad location.

The hookers seem to be gone- but the guys with their pit bulls on chains are walking around 9th and Linden. I would never let my kids walk around any street where there are pitbulls and the dopes who can't control them.

michael molovinsky said...

i occasionally had breakfast there, i wouldn't call the clientele preppy. once again they, as many intercity businesses. are limited to the social-economic demographic the city attracts. many ppl workers eat at their own dining room and never leave the building. you can put art in empty storefronts and call it culture, but in reality they're empty storefronts. i have yet to see any realistic business plan for allentown; on the contrary, i believe the rose colored glasses have hurt the business district.

Anonymous said...

Yeah MM, they'd still be open if only all those hundreds of customers who took the LANTA bus there could still do so. Oh wait, I almost forgot...the buses still do stop at PPL. They just don't hang around as long, which is just fine with us here. No more idling diesel engines. Let's face it...that diner is gone because of the mayor and his 'constituents.'

Anonymous said...

I heard from many people that the food in this establishment was inedible. That could have something to do with the closing.