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.
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?