Owl Diner, Clearwater 1948
The Owl Diner opened in 1948 in Clearwater, Florida, and cleverly used the motto The Owl Never Sleeps to advertise the fact that it stayed open 24 hours a day. A cheerful and sprightly owl dressed as a waiter was featured on menus and on other advertising material such as matchbooks. A large road sign, showing an owl sitting in a tree, encouraged weary drivers to pull over and take a break.
Owned by Albert Martin, The Owl was one of the famous pre-fabricated diners built in New Jersey by the Jerry O’Mahony company. It is estimated this company built 2,000 diners from 1917 to 1952. These stainless steel diners, which had in-built air conditioning and radiant heat, were sent by road all over the US and hooked up to electricity and gas on-site.
Less than 30 of these diners are still in existence. Though The Owl is long gone, its imaginative and humorous vintage menu art lives on in this marvelous image.
Courtesy Private Collection.
Each print is accompanied by a copy of the interior menu where available.
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