Will the Crosser Diner ever reopen in Lisbon, OH?

A bit of warm weather has me thinking “road trip,” through cold weather admittedly has the same effect. Looking through last summer’s photos, one of the best treats along the Lincoln Highway is traveling eastward across Ohio in the evening and arriving in Lisbon after dark. No matter the hour, the corner entrance of the Steel Trolley Diner beckons with neon, stainless, and a warm glow inside — not to mention pies, home fries, coffee, and milk shakes. But for at least 6 years, the other side of town had brought a frown when I pass the abandoned Crosser Diner. It’s a c. 1944 Sterling diner made by J.B. Judkins of Merrimac, Mass., best known for their streamliner models featuring one or both ends rounded. This is a Dinette model, one of only 4 survivors.

OH_Crosser D
Above: Waiting for customers, and a buyer, is the rare Crosser Diner in Lisbon, Ohio.

The diner (127 W. Lincoln Way) and adjacent service station were founded by Jimmy Hanna and later run by John Howard “Wimpy” Crosser and his wife Lorena Arter. It changed hands and struggled in recent decades due to its tiny size and having the main storage and kitchen downstairs, but it still featured solid diner fare and classic decor. One site reports a rumor of it moving but I’ve not seen confirmation or an update. It’s a treasure worth saving and reopening, with a cool little neon sign to match. Any diner fans or Ohio LH roadies know its status?

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4 thoughts on “Will the Crosser Diner ever reopen in Lisbon, OH?

  1. It actually might be one of 5 in existance. There are 2 in Massachusetts, although they have been alterred. One might still be in Hoboken, NJ and I believe there might be one in storage somewhere.

  2. I was informed by someone from the area that the owner, who lives in Lisbon, has been told that the diner is worth “at least six figures.” He is evidently in no hurry to sell at a reasonable price and willing to let this treasure deteriorate further while dreaming of the big sale that is very unlikely to happen.

  3. Too bad it’s so far from us; there was an old diner near my apartment in Berkley I was putting things together in order to purchase it, fix it, and turn it into a fancy wine/cheese shop but still keep that diner look as much as I could. This would be yet another primo place to do it with. I hope someone finally manages to buy it and put it back into some sort of operation.

  4. Were the diners put together in a factory and hauled to the site in one piece? How hard is it to move, does it need to be taken apart?

    The Diner in Canton is now closed,again. We need someone to buy it and move it to a place that has more parking. Near the new Lincoln Highway Train Station would be a good location.

    Ezra Malernee
    Canton, Ohio

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