Great good news! I just now learned that, after half a year of closure, the excellent Modern Diner, in Pawtucket, has reopened. There is, I should say, nothing modern about the Modern Diner, just a ways down Hope Street, then East Street after Hope enters the Bucket, from where I live in historic Providence. I am a regular. It serves the best breakfasts ever – fried eggs over hard, break the yolk, bacon, home fries (perfecto!), rye toast and OJ – and is famous for its comfort food. It is modern in the sense that it exists today, and that, as some insist, its Art Deco design is modern, as in modernist (not really, but we’ll let it go). The Modern Diner is a delicious, friendly place that’s been around a long time, 80 years, the last 28 with the same owner.
Nothing modern about that!
There are restrictions, of course, and reservations are required (at a diner!). Covid still stalks among us.
Coincidentally, the Modern Diner’s reopening came just a few days before I was interviewed on the USModernist podcast – an experience that, despite what readers of my blog must think, was almost traditional, even classical, in its comfort and friendliness. It was almost as delightful as a breakfast at the Modern Diner. George Smart, the host and all-round maestro of the website, is such a good egg. The motto of USModernist is “Architecture You Love.” It goes on to say: “Join Mr. Modernism George Smart and crew as they talk and laugh with people who enjoy, own, create, dream about, preserve, love, and hate Modernist architecture.” I, of course, fall into the final category, and George’s Smart’s eggness is so good that he was nice to me even after I’d spent 45 minutes upending his motto. He even refused to interrupt my monologizing. What a guy! Few talk show hosts let you run with your ideas. He is known as Mr. Modernism, and his first question was about my old nickname, Dr. Downtown, from my occasional “Ask Dr. Downtown” columns at the Providence Journal. (I promised to send him some examples.)
I hope he comes to Providence. I would love to bestow upon him a meal at the Modern Diner.