WARNING: Under no circumstances should you enter this property. By doing so you risk bodily harm and/or prosecution for trespassing on private property.

Many television shows and movies that take place in the past often have characters visiting a Diner, sometimes frequently, so much so that you almost can feel the ambiance. The Diner would most likely serve some sort of sandwiches or the classic burger, fries, and a milkshake. I'm not quite old enough to be a part of the era that could visit these kinds of diners and have that experience for themselves, but I've always wondered what it was like. Although these diners may be abandoned and of no use now, doesn't mean there isn't a boatload of history attached.

Rosie's Diner sits idle in Rockford, Michigan as commuters pass it by every day, some of them know of its long history, while others think it's just another failed business that had its doors closed on them. While others can recall a time that they were able to sit down and have a meal at Rosie's maybe for a date, with the family, or just hanging out with friends. While the rest of us are wondering what Rosie's used to be like and what else is hiding in its creaks and crevices.

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Prehistoric Rosie

Rosie's Diner wasn't always in Michigan, and it wasn't always named Rosie's Diner. The original opened in the 1940s in Little Ferry, New Jersey, under the name Silver Dollar Diner. The Diner was built in 1946 on US Route 46 and was owned by Ralph Corrado before passing it on to his son, Ralph Corrado Jr. The diner didn't get famous for its food, although I'm sure it was delicious, it got famous from commercials.

Commercial Chaos

There was a Sanka and Pepsi commercial filmed inside the diner, but neither of them had the impact of the commercials that one company shot in the booths of the diner. In the 70s, Nancy Walker would play Rosie the Waitress in a chaotic diner scene as she would clean the messes up with Bounty paper towels while proclaiming the product to be the "quicker picker-upper". Corrado would rename the place after Rosie, then Ethan Allen Furniture and Sony would also use the Diner to make commercials after Rosie and Bounty had their run, before Corrado finally sold it.

Making Its Move To Michigan

Corrado sold the land under the diner to an auto glass repair shop and they didn't want it so he had to sell the building too. He originally wanted to sell it to the Smithsonian Institution but they politely declined and that's where Michigan comes in. Jerry Berta, who already owned a diner, and liked to make ceramic replica classic diners, with the original Rosie's as one of his inspirations, decided to purchase the building. He would move Rosie's to its current location in Rockford.

He would eventually buy the third diner and place it in a separate location and his complex was eventually dubbed Dinerland, USA. Dinerland was composed of the Diner Store(Mahoney Car), the main diner (Rosie's), the former Garden of Eatin' Car91952 Silk City), and a 3 1/2 acre food-themed min golf course where visitors could putt around a giant burger and piece of pizza. Berta made many improvements in 15 years between 1991 and 2006 before selling Dinerland.

Roests Revelation

Jonelle and Randy Roest purchased Dinerland from Berta and had their ideas for the place. They did not reopen the massive mini-golf course, but they did change the function of some of the diner cars. They reopened the 1952 Silk City car as a Sports bar, kept Rosie's open as a normal diner, and even transitioned the Mahoney car into a seasonal ice cream shop. Their changes were so impressive they got national TV attention from Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives on the Food Network in 2007 and the Travel Channel's Diner Paradise.

Closing Cases

Rosie's diner met its ultimate demise in October of 2011 and the property was sold in an online auction to Aaron Koehn for a winning bid of $125,000 and offered out tours to almost 3,000 people during a car show in September of 2014. Koehn has expressed his desires multiple times to revamp the diner and the golf course but with no luck. He has mentioned even moving the diner to a new location if need be, so Rosie's may be back sooner than we think.

WARNING: Under no circumstances should you enter this property. By doing so you risk bodily harm and/or prosecution for trespassing on private property.

Rosie's Diner In Rockford, Michigan

Images of the current state and location of Rosie's Diner. The Diner is currently abandoned and is located in Rockford, Michigan.

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