“Order’s Up!” Paterson and the Rise of the New Jersey Diner

On Exhibition Now Extended Through Friday, October 6, 2023.

New Jersey is acknowledged as the “Diner Capital of the World” for two reasons: because of the number of diners that operate in the Garden State and because many of the major U.S. diner builders were located here. In this exhibition, learn how Paterson played a role in this statewide phenomenon.

Today, Paterson is well known for its eclectic blend of food experiences and cultures. After all, the City motto is “Great Falls, Great Food, Great Future.” This exhibition will highlight Paterson’s contributions to the diner industry, from Silk City Diners to Libby’s Lunch and the Hot Texas Weiner. Many of the photos in the exhibit come from New Jersey author Michael Gabriele, who serves as the co-curator. Among his many publications, Gabriele has written two books about diners, The History of Diners in New Jersey, and Stories from New Jersey Diners.

The exhibit will be on display now through Friday, October 6, 2023. in the Hannah Memorial Gallery, at The Paterson Museum.

Please join us for the following programs related to this exhibit:

July 8

Opening Reception: Order’s Up! Paterson and the Rise of the New Jersey Diner: Be among the first to see the exhibit and walk down memory lane. A short program will be followed by an informal meet and greet with the co-curators and a chance to explore the exhibition.

August 5

Program: A Roadmap to the Diner Capital of the World with New Jersey author Michael Gabriele. Join us in-person at 1pm. This presentation will describe how diners have played an important role in New Jersey’s history as gathering places for communities. Diner experiences—good food, slice-of-life encounters with friends and strangers, and the memories they inspire—have reflected the state’s spirit, culture and mythology for more than 100 years.


Learn more about the exhibit here:

‘Order’s Up:’ New exhibit at N.J. museum is all about diners- article


The history of diners in New Jersey exhibit- photographs


Photographs of the exhibit reception July 8, 2023 by Terry McKenna