^
Keep Westword Free
4

Johnny's Diner turns off the grill in Aurora

You'll have to get your bacon and eggs elsewhere this morning: Johnny's Diner has closed in Aurora. During a recent Aurora Fire Department inspection, the owner of the decades-old joint was told he needed to replace the fire suppression hood over the grill -- a $3,000 repair. That was enough, Aurora reports, for the owner to decide to get out of the diner business altogether, and close Johnny's. See also: - The real counter culture at Johnny's Diner - Best cheap lunch 2008: Johnny's Diner - Best Diner 2013: 20th Street Cafe

For a taste of Johnny's, here's what Jason Sheehan wrote after a visit there in 2008:

I worry that places like the Empire (or Snooze or Steuben's or what have you) will eventually subsume the joints from which so much of their style and cuisine is taken -- this notion of the greasy spoon without the grease, the neighborhood dive without the neighborhood. And thus, out of guilt and fear and a kind of time-warp homesickness for a thing that has not yet gone, late last week I found myself bellying up once again at Johnny's Diner for my occasional usual: a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich, a cherry milkshake and a ham breakfast burrito wrapped for walkin'.

The car-cult decor, liberally flavored with '50s rock-and-roll paraphernalia and Buddy Holly on the radio; the cash-only counter service; the smell of hot fryer oil and charred onions and industrial floor cleaner; and the grease caked on the fryer backsplashes in the open kitchen that has probably been there since before I moved to the neighborhood; the cooks working in stained dish jackets and talking incessantly, loudly, about music and girls and TV and girls and girls; the corners cluttered with the detritus of twenty-odd years of business. Johnny's is a true classic, keeping the flame of real Americana alive. Cheeseburgers and fries and shakes and omelets and patty melts and burritos that aren't even remotely Mexican are pushed through a window beneath the hanging trunk of an ancient Plymouth or Buick hot rod. I love it here, both for the food (that which doesn't kill me...) and for the history of the food -- the long, sturdy connection, passing from line cook to line cook, of an American cuisine that may be altered, modernized, fused and fucked with, but will not ever die.

Want to get into the diner business? The 2,270 square-foot building and surrounding property, which is on a busy corner of East Iliff Avenue and South Havana, is listed with Joe David at 303-694-6082.

I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.


Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.