O'Rourke's Diner

O'Rourke's Diner is a diner located in the Main Street Historic District[2] in Middletown, Connecticut.

O'Rourke's Diner
ORourkes Diner.jpg
General information
Architectural styleArt Deco
Town or cityMiddletown, Connecticut
CountryUnited States
Coordinates41°33′53″N 72°39′07″W / 41.564732°N 72.651891°W / 41.564732; -72.651891
Design and construction
Architect(s)Mountain View Diner Company[1]


The diner was established in 1941 by John O'Rourke, who later brought the 1946 Mountain View diner car that anchored the diner's distinctive appearance into Middletown.[3] John's nephews, John and Brian bought the diner in 1976. In 1986, due to corrupted business practices John sold his half share of the diner to his cousin Brian.[4]

On August 31, 2006, O'Rourke's Diner suffered tremendous damage from a fire that broke out after a hamburger steamer was left on overnight.[5] Because the diner did not have fire insurance, fundraising efforts were launched[6] to cover the estimated $350,000 cost of repairs.[7] By June 2007, $180,000 had been raised and preparations for reconstruction were underway.[8] On February 11, 2008, following successful renovations which included assistance from the local community and Wesleyan University, O'Rourke's was reopened at 5:00 am.[9]



  1. ^ O'Rourke's Diner entry in Garbin, Randy (March 2005). Diners of New England. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books. pp. 274. ISBN 978-0-8117-3141-6.
  2. ^ Kovner, Josh (2006-09-04). "Architect To Aid Rebuilding Of Diner". Hartford Courant. The 60-year-old diner, damaged in a fire early Thursday, is an anchor in the North End neighborhood. It is part of the Main Street Historic District, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
  3. ^ Yonan, Joe (2006-05-17). "They brake for burgers". Boston Globe. Brian O'Rourke bought this beautiful diner from his uncle John, who founded it in 1941.
  4. ^ Ravo, Nick (1989-03-22). "At the Nation's Table". New York Times.
  5. ^ Griffin, Alaine (2007-10-19). "O'Rourke's Diner Shows Some Signs Of A Rebirth". Hartford Courant.
  6. ^ Gordon, Jane (2006-11-26). "COMMUNITY; Effort to Repair Diner Reaches Far and Wide". New York Times.
  7. ^ Kovner, Josh (2006-09-21). "Cost Of Rebuilding Scorched Diner Estimated At $350,000". Hartford Courant.
  8. ^ Dorn, Brittany (2007-06-12). "O'Rourke's Diner Slowly Coming Back To Life". Hartford Courant.
  9. ^ "Breakfast served again at O'Rourkes". WTNH. 2008-02-11.
  10. ^ "Connecticut Magazine - Best of Connecticut 2005: Places".
  11. ^ Vann, Korky (6 November 2008). "Celebrity Foodie Guy Fieri Gets Firsthand Taste Of O'Rourke's Funky Cuisine". Hartford Courant. Retrieved 2 December 2008.

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