End Of An Era

After more than 75 years, the Diamond Grille in Akron is changing hands.  Since 1941, the restaurant with the great name and the classic, cool neon sign has been owned by the Thomas family and has held down the same spot at 77 West Market Street.

12024588-largeThis week the Thomas family announced that it has sold the restaurant to a long-time waitress who promises to keep things pretty much the same they always have been — with the exception of renovating the bathrooms and adding some fresh vegetables to the menu.  I guess that long-time fans of the restaurant, and I am one of many, will be willing to accept those slight modifications so long as you can still go to the Diamond to get the same great steaks and seafood, drink the same great drinks, and enjoy an atmosphere that makes you feel like it’s 1958 and Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis, Jr. might just be found in the booth next to yours.  It’s one of those joints that is unforgettable and timeless.

The Diamond Grille has been an important part of Webner family lore and was a place that my mother and father used to socialize with their friends.  Uncle Mack worked there when he was a callow youth, and Kish and I had had a memorable dinner there with Mom, Aunt Bebe, and Uncle Mack and Aunt Corinne a few years ago.  The last time I chowed down at the Diamond I took a colleague there for lunch.  She’d never been there before, and as we were eating she looking around with a sense of wonder and said:  “This place is great!”

Of course, she was right.  The Webner family wishes the Thomas family the very best as they move on to other things, and wants to thank them for a lifetime of wonderful memories.  If you’re interested, you can read about some of our experiences at the Diamond here, here, here, and here.

Diamond Grille Porterhouse

photo-1When I have the pleasure of going to a fine steakhouse — and the legendary Diamond Grille in Akron certainly falls into that category — I’ve got to get the Porterhouse.  Why?  Because Porter, whoever he was, would have wanted it that way.

The Porterhouse is a serious cut of steak.  It’s got the tenderloin and the strip steak, so it’s the best of both worlds.  It’s like a T-bone, only a lot bigger.  It’s a steak that, as the photo above indicates, covers an entire dinner plate.  Bring your appetite, baby!

Tonight I had my Porterhouse medium rare, and it was fantastic.  At the Diamond Grille, the Porterhouse is not to be missed.

Diamond Dinner

A quick trip up to Akron today.  Aunt Corinne and Uncle Mack were in town, so Mom, Kish, and I went up to visit with them and Aunt Bebe.  It was great to see everyone and to check out “The Buckeye Room” at “Buckeye Bebe”‘s pad.

The quick jaunt was properly capped off by dinner at the Diamond Grille, which — as any regular reader of this blog knows — is a fabulous steakhouse and the source of many fond memories for Uncle Mack.  A few oysters, a glass of wine, some great conversation, and a perfectly cooked medium rare Porterhouse steak as big as a stop sign later, we were back in the car and rolling down I-71 to Columbus, letting the digestive juices do their work.

The Diamond Grille In The Rubber City

Today I had lunch at the Diamond Grille in Akron.  It was like stepping back in time, in more ways than one.

The Diamond Grille is found at 77 West Market Street.  The exterior is unpretentious — and the inside is no different.  It’s a throwback place, from the neon sign to the interior decor, unchanged and unaffected by the outside world, as if it were shielded from the ravages of time by some protective bubble.  Pass through the black double doors and you find yourself in days gone by.  It had special significance for me, because “the Diamond” was one of my father’s favorite places when we lived in Akron — and I’d wager the restaurant and its menu hasn’t changed much since our family moved from Akron 40 years ago.

The Diamond Grille specializes in steak.  In fact, this little restaurant is a temple of steak worship, where the cuts of beef are prime, big and juicy, and served to be savored by people who appreciate a really fine steak and a well-made cocktail.  Being there for lunch on a work day, of course, I really couldn’t reasonably exercise either of those options, so I went for the chopped steak and white bean soup — both of which were excellent and bursting with flavor.  Having lunch there just whetted my appetite for a steak dinner, with all the trimmings.

Come to the Diamond Grille for the Rat Pack atmosphere, if you want, but stay for the steak — you won’t be disappointed.