"Metro Diners" were ubiquitous throughout mid-century, post-war America.
This image resembles the original look of the Metro Diner in Albany, NY
(Louis K. Meisel Gallery, New York).
say buddy, got the time?
nowhere to go?
it’s always half past midnight
down at the Metro
Pop rolls in ‘round about eleven
the clientele he knows quite well
a few sinners from heaven
a few saints from hell
black marble countertops
under an art deco clock
if you ever get lost
it’s just down the block
jukebox ain’t had nothing new
since the old man bought the place
back in ‘52
the air is always thick
with lucky strikes, camels
the bets are easy to make
cause the cops are on the take
pimps, prostitutes, and railroad porters
all take a break and place their orders
hamburgers sizzle on the grill
the boys work the counter
fran has your bill
they got decaf
or would you like
a regular cup of joe
black and white?
. . . there you go . . .
and Joe (Pop) Sr. with two unidentified patrons, circa 1959. |
Notice the juke box and black marble countertop.
BROADWAY DINER LEVELED AFTER MORE THAN 40 YEARS
Date: Tuesday, September 9, 1986
Grace O'Connor Staff writer
Section: LOCAL, Page: B4
|"Pop" Urso at the Metro Diner, circa 1960.|
The Metro Diner, a landmark on Broadway in Albany for more than 40 years, has vanished in a cloud of demolition dust. . . . it was moved to 527 Broadway "from someplace downstate in the 1940s. It was about 5 years old then . . . and that's like brand new for a diner. . . In 1952 when Joe Urso became owner, the diner "was fantastic. . . . You never saw anything like it." With seating for 42 at the marble-topped counter and in the booths, "it was one of the largest businesses per seating capacity in the city."
The clientele was mixed. . . . "We also had the pimps and the prostitutes, because that was their area between Green Street and Broadway at the time." Coffee was a dime then. ". . . hamsteak, eggs and homefries cost $1.10."
Things began to change in the mid-1970s. Businesses closed or moved out of downtown Albany. The diner no longer needed to stay open all night. The old juke box with its spinning 45s was taken out.
"The building was so deteriorated, it was a real hazard. . . . It was more appropriate to remove the structure since it could not be utilized as a diner because it had been completely vandalized, gutted."
Metro Diner, circa 1985. The aluminum sliding long gone. |
A shadow of its former self.
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