Lunch at the Road Island Diner

The Road Island Diner

Although I really love riding up the canyons around Utah, enjoying the smell of the pines in the summer and the beautiful colors in the fall, I also enjoy riding through the pastoral landscapes of rural Utah. Friday afternoon I had some time and rode through Oakley and Kamas for a couple of hours. It was the perfect day for a ride with very little traffic on the road.

I’ve passed the Road Island Diner more times than I can count without stopping, so I thought it would be a great place to have a late lunch. Riding through Oakley, it’s hard to miss this iconic looking diner from the early part of the last century.

The history of the diner is really pretty interesting. It was manufactured in 1939 by the Jerry O’Mahony Company for the World’s Fair in New York that same year. After the fair it was purchased by Al McDermott who moved it to Fall River, MA where it was operated successfully for 14 years. His moniker, which is still part of the diner today was “Justly Famous since 1939.”

To serve more customers, McDermott bought a bigger diner in 1953 (it’s still there). For the next four generations the diner was operated by the Borodemus family where it was even featured on Charles Osgood’s CBS Sunday Morning. Succumbing to pressure from fast-food and other restaurant chains, the family decided to sell the property and the search for a new home was started. In May of 2007, the diner was transported across the county to Oakley, Utah where its heritage could be preserved.

The diner went through a restoration and is now an accurate representation of what you would have seen had you stopped by for a burger in 1939. Although air conditioning and the table-top jukeboxes are modern additions, the diner is right at home perched on an island in the middle of the road in Qakley. The burger was good, the atmosphere was fun—I’ll definitely stop there again.

Francis, UT

After lunch, I hit the road headed for Francis and on to Park City for a very pleasant ride home. We may not have the scarlet and crimson foliage they have back in Vermont this time of year, but the aspens were ablaze and the fields were gold as I rode through the Kamas Valley.

They hay is stacked, the fall leaves swept across the road as I flew past, and the smell of freshly cut timber filled my nostrils as I passed the sawmill just outside of Kamas. Does a late autumn afternoon get any better than this? I don’t think so.

Near Park City, Utah

After leaving Francis, a short hop on I-15 to Park City and a relaxing ride through town before heading home capped off a perfect day. This is a great ride through some sleepy little Utah towns that don’t see many tourists this time of year.

Click HERE to see a few more photos from the ride.

—Ty

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2 Comments

Filed under Utah Rides

2 responses to “Lunch at the Road Island Diner

  1. Pingback: A Nice Ride to Oakley | Quiet Roads

  2. Beautiful country, Utah…

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