Coffee break at the A-1 Diner in Gardiner, Maine

Coffee break at the A-1 Diner in Gardiner, Maine

A few years ago, I sparked my interest in photography after taking classes at the Maine Media Workshop.

Frank LavalleChristine Collins and Jan Rosenbaum encouraged, guided, and prodded me overt the course of several summer workshops. Then last winter I told myself, "Enough learning - time for doing!"  Get out there and just shoot.

I pursued a theme: Maine Diners.  I considered almost a dozen and settled on three within an hour of our summer home in Wiscasset.

The first one, the A1 Diner in Gardiner, is an authentic gem of the golden days of diners.  It's been featured on Guy Fieri's Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Mike Giberson, son of a previous owner, has co-owned and run the operation for more than 16 years. He arrives at 5am each day. 

The menu is traditional diner comfort food, to which contemporary offerings such as a curried chicken wrap, grilled pesto chicken and roast beef/red onion w blue cheese.  Patrons start lining up at 7 a.m. most mornings and Mike has a killer Sunday brunch.

The diner was built  by the Worcester Lunch Car Co. of Worcester, Massachusetts, of the major diner manufactuers of the era and retains its original character.  The A1 opened for business in 1948 and has not been renovated, modernized, or 'improved'.