Virginia State Seal

Virginia Department of Historic Resources

187-0013 Burnett's Diner

Burnett's Diner
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For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 06/19/1996

NRHP Listing Date 12/16/1996

NPS property number 96001451

The mid-1920s Danville Car No. 66 ended its transportation duties in 1938 when that city began converting to bus service. Salvaged from the scrappers, the trolley car was converted into a diner by the resourceful Burnett brothers, Henry, Frank, and Jessie. The Burnetts started their business in Chatham shortly after Bill’s Diner, also a reused streetcar, opened nearby. A double-truck Perley A. Thomas car, built in High Point, N. C., Burnett’s has a relatively roomy interior where a custom-built curved-end counter provides patron comfort. Food preparation originally centered around a wood-burning stove. The stove was later augmented by a stainless-steel grill behind the counter. A recent restoration revealed the varnished tongue-and-groove wood-paneled ceiling. The roof-mounted neon-lit clock was cleaned and repaired. Burnett’s is, at present, Virginia’s last operating streetcar diner.

VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark

Updated October 14, 2018