Aetna Diner, also known as Comet Diner, Hog River Grille, and Dishes, is a historic diner located at 267 Farmington Avenue in the Asylum Hill neighborhood of Hartford, Connecticut. Built in 1947 by Paramount Diners and assembled in 1948, the diner was prefabricated from stainless steel. Aetna Diner was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2021.[1]

Aetna Diner
Aetna Diner is located in Connecticut
Aetna Diner
Aetna Diner is located in the United States
Aetna Diner
Location267 Farmington Ave.,
Hartford, Connecticut
Coordinates41°46′03″N 72°41′51″W / 41.76750°N 72.69750°W / 41.76750; -72.69750
Area0.20 acres (0.081 ha)
ArchitectArthur E. Sieber
Architectural styleModern Movement
NRHP reference No.100006804
Added to NRHPAugust 18, 2021

Description and historyEdit

Manufactured in Haledon, New Jersey, the prefabricated diner car was transported by truck to Hartford in three sections, placed on a concrete basement foundation on the corner of Farmington Avenue and Laurel Street, and bolted together. Original owners Gus and Helen Vlecides ran the Aetna Diner for four decades. Built in the "streamliner" deluxe style and more than 32 feet wide with 32 booths in three rows and a back bar with 25-stool counter, the diner became known for hosting dinners and dances. Eddie Fisher, Zsa Zsa Gabor and Telly Savalas ate there, and the owners catered events for Governor Ella Grasso.[1][2]

Starting in 1984, the diner went through a series of renter and name changes. It had an eight-year run as the Comet followed by eight years as the Oasis and short-lived eras as the Hog River Grille, Mississippi Bar and Grille, and Dishes Restaurant through the early 2000s. The diner has remained vacant since Dishes closed. The building and parking lot are privately owned.[2][3]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "National Register of Historic Places Registration Form: Aetna Diner" (PDF). Retrieved 2022-05-19.
  2. ^ a b Gosselin, Kenneth R. (2019-02-22). "Fresh start again sought for vacant, decaying Comet Diner in Hartford's Asylum Hill". Hartford Courant. Retrieved 2022-05-19.
  3. ^ Gosselin, Kenneth R. (2016-08-17). "Owners Pull Plan To Demolish Comet Diner". Hartford Courant. Retrieved 2022-05-19.