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Diners might be considered by some a thing of the past, but they are also a dining-out hope of the future as locally-owned and operated small businesses offer satisfying meals, prices kind to those on a budget and a priceless, down-to-earth style of service that sure feels different from the generic, chain restaurant presentations.

People also seem to be returning to the basics with their lifestyles by rejecting the superficial, faceless, expensive and shallow, and instead embracing things that really matter.

White collar America -- some as business travelers walking briskly over from the adjacent hotel -- took that well-deserved break from another anticipated day in the rat race to lighten the day with some home-cooked food.

Diners really do matter to locals, travelers and any walk of life as a place to connect with our great country -- you’ll see the most wonderful cross section of customers at these dining destinations.

New Englanders and outsiders, to this very day, form lines out the door at places like the Modern Diner in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, 50s Diner in Dedham, Massachusetts, and the Maine Diner in Wells, Maine.

Clearly, many factors create a true diner but in a nutshell, "diner" is a derivative of "dining car" and “diner designs reflected the styling that manufacturers borrowed from railroad dining cars,” according to the Rhode Island-based American Diner Museum web site (

Diners almost always feature a counter, stools and a food preparation or service area along the back wall, states the American Diner Museum, which by the way, “consider(s) every diner to be a living museum.” , features a young boy and a caring highway patrolman, at the counter of a diner in the Berkshires in Western Massachusetts (more on that later).

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