Jerry’s Diner

by

Bunk’s Rules of the Road:
1. Always flush with your feet.
2. Anything named “Jerry’s Diner” is an excellent place for cheap, good food.

jerrys-diner-5-kent-oh.jpg

My all-time favorite (deceased).

THIS Jerry’s Diner in Kent, Ohio, fed me well and cheaply throughout my college years. Seemed to be always open, and was conveniently located for easy stumbling access after the Water Street watering holes closed. There was usually a line out the door by 11pm, and it was longer later. (It was usually snowing, too.)

Wednesday was Fish Fry Night, all you can eat for $2.50, with home fries. Yeah, it was just Mrs. Paul’s with potatoes. We’d pass on supper on Tuesday just to take advantage of the deal, until one Wednesday too many we cleaned them out of frozen battered fish… that’s when they changed the rules.

After that, each of us had a limit of ten battered fish fillets. Period. Half of what we normally ate. Life’s just not fair sometimes.

I think that Hairy Mary had something to do with it. She was the waitress, and when she was in a bad mood, your order was launched down the counter at you and you had to catch it. Her bad mood seemed to coincide with whenever we stepped inside.

[UPDATE 19 NOVEMBER 2008: JERRY’S DINER HAS BEEN PURCHASED. THE NEW OWNER IS MOVING IT TO CLEVELAND FOR REFURBISHING AND POSSIBLE RELOCATION TO KENT. NEWS AS IT HAPPENS.]

[UPDATE 5 OCTOBER 2008:  JERRY’S DINER, KENT, OHIO, IS SLATED FOR DEMOLITION THIS MONTH.  STORY AFTER THE BREAK.]

[UPDATE 15 FEB 2009: Cleveland Plain Dealer article after the break.]


Here are some other “Jerry’s Diners” that showed up on a google search.

jerrys-diner-1.jpg
Grub

jerrys-diner-2.jpg
Eats

jerrys-diner-3.jpg

Jerry’s

jerrys-diner-4.jpg

Closed

jerrys-diner-6.jpg

Open

Re: Jerry’s Diner

[The following is a series of emails between Phil C and Bunk Strutts in October 2008, in chronopollogical order, starting with Phil’s comment on this post.]

New comment on your post #50 “Jerry’s Diner”

Comment:

Worked there through college.  It’s passed through several hands since then (80s) and has been vacant for the last 4 years.   It’s slated to be demolished in October 08 for a new hotel.

— On Sat, 10/4/08

From: Bunk Strutts <bunkstrutts@verizon.net>

Subject: Jerry’s Diner

To:++++++++++

Date: Saturday, October 4, 2008, 1:37 AM

Phil–

Any chance you can snag some photos before it’s gone? Photos of the demolition would be appreciated also.

— On Sun, 10/5/08

From: Phil C

Subject: Re: Jerry’s Diner

To: bunkstrutts@verizon.net

Date: Sunday, October 5, 2008, 12:50 AM

Hey Bunk,

Won’t be back in Kent until 23rd.  If it hasn’t been razed by then, I’ll snap some pics.  I’ll also ask the hardware store people when it’s coming down, they should know and if I’m in town then, I’ll take a few more.

Phil

— On Sat, 10/4/08

From: Bunk Strutts <bunkstrutts@verizon.net>

Subject: Re: Jerry’s Diner

To: ++++++++

Date: Saturday, October 4, 2008, 7:55 PM

Phil–

Any chance of getting someone to shoot the interior before it’s been stripped (if it hasn’t been already)?

Bunk

Sunday, October 5, 2008 2:41 AM

From:

To: bunkstrutts@verizon.net

The inside was stripped years ago. I looked in the window a few weeks back and the marble counter has been lifted out, the stools are gone and the refrigerator cabinets behind the counter were out of there too.  It’s pretty much just an empty shell.  After the Harris family sold it to Bonnie (who had co-owned Brady’s coffee house), it went downhill.  She didn’t maintain it, there was a fire in the back kitchen and she never reopened it afterwards.

Phil

15 February 2009 Cleveland Plain Dealer, article by Regina Brett:

jerrys-diner1

Tags: , , ,

7 Responses to “Jerry’s Diner”

  1. pc Says:

    Worked there through college. It’s passed through several hands since then (80s) and has been vacant for the last 4 years. It’s slated to be demolished in October 08 for a new hotel.

  2. Bunk Strutts Says:

    What a shame. I hope the new hotel smells like Mrs. Paul’s.

  3. Awayne Says:

    I worked there in the years from ’73 to ’76. I cooked, working from 8pm-5am, closing for an hour to cleanup. I will take some last pictures on Saturday, Oct 11, of a place where I witnessed almost the full spectrum of the human condition and provided ample entertainment while cooking there. The mother of my kids and I both worked there. I’ll miss the place.

  4. Bunk Strutts Says:

    Awayne–

    Whoa. The Friday/Saturday 8pm-5am circus was always in town. Photos of THAT would be cool. How ’bout some stories? Worst night, best night, most bizarre night, etc.? Send ’em to me at the link above right, and I’ll post a tribute to Jerry’s Diner, Kent Ohio.

    Same for the rest of you. Send coherent stories to bunkstrutts@verizon.net for a future tribute.

  5. Judi Bray Says:

    I bought the diner from my brother Jerry. Bonnie was fired from the diner because she just didn’t work out. However, I learned things the hard way and had to raise the bar of employment. Don’t drink, bathe, you know. I had a lot of awesome people work for me and it helped me raise my two sons. It would have been more fun if I had been my employee but I have met so many cool people. thanks for diner interest

  6. Bunk Strutts Says:

    Judi–

    What a tyrant, making ’em bathe and all. Thanks for the info, and we’d love to hear more stories from the Other Side of the Counter.

  7. Bunk Strutts Says:

    “Eric” emailed this to me recently, and rather than wait and create a new Jerry’s Diner Update Post, and risk forgetting to post his story, here it is here:

    “It was the winter of ’78 and my friend and I were living together at Koonce in Tri-Towers at KSU. Being new to the dorm (we were the only non-architects on the floor) we asked new friends on our floor where we could get a bite to eat one night after a long night of partying. Without hesitating my friend drove us to Jerry’s. Still somewhat “buzzed” my friend and I walked into a place reminiscent of the bar scene in Star Wars. Yes there was indeed a “bearded lady” taking orders and the juke box was playing a song that sounded vaguely familiar. After a moment I realized it was the Rolling Stones “Jumping Jack Flash”. Why did it take me so long to recognize such a classic song? Well perhaps it was because it was being played backwards. That in itself is noteworthy until you realize the counter cook is singing the words to the song backwards! I had a western omelet that I ordered from the bearded lady and my hungry friend could only muster a cup of tea. I’ll tell you the food was good and I frequented that place until the day it closed.”

    What amazed me is that Eric copied one of my classmates who I haven’t seen in over 30 years. Turns out that Eric lived on the same floor in the same dorm as I did.

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