Remember those old 1970s commercials for Bounty paper towels that featured Rosie the waitress (actress Nancy Walker)? You know, where goofy customers would come in to Rosie’s Diner and proceed to spill something all over the counter? Then Rosie would save the day by soppin’ up the whole mess with one paper towel. Or as she called ‘em, “the quicker picker-upper”.

Well, kids, those original commercials were shot in an actual diner called the Farmland Diner in Little Ferry, New Jersey.

The diner was built and opened in 1946 as the Silver Dollar Diner. A few decades later, and due to the popularity of those Bounty commercials, owner Ralph Corrado Jr. re-named the restaurant “Rosie’s Diner”. Other commercials were shot in that diner as well: Ethan Allen Furniture, Pepsi, Sanka Coffee, and Sony.

So how did this classic diner find its way to Michigan?

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After being turned down by the Smithsonian Institute as an historic pop culture item, the diner was purchased for $10,000 in the 1990s by a Michigan artist named Jerry Berta. He had the diner transported to Cedar Springs, Michigan (near Rockford) and added a couple of extra diners to the location. He called it “Dinerland USA”. He unveiled his new, classic “most famous diner in the USA” on July 5, 1991.

Dinerland USA also had an art gallery and a mini-golf course in the back, where you slice your way around a giant hamburger, hot dog, coffee mug, hunk of pie, and other objects, including a dinosaur.

Rosie’s was re-sold, re-bought, and re-opened in 2006. The golf course remained closed, and now all the fun figures are overgrown with bushes, small trees, grass, and weeds.

Rosie’s closed again in the fall of 2011 and so far remains shut. Lots of work needs to be done if anyone has the incentive to get it open again. Lots of damage and rot throughout.

Permission was granted to go through the property and get some images, as you will see in the gallery below!

Rosie's Diner

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50 Discontinued Soda Pops

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