Just down the street from Mark Twain’s house and museum in Hartford, Connecticut, is one of the city’s other most recognizable buildings, a vintage chrome and steel diner, glinting in the sun. The old Comet Diner, however, has been sadly left abandoned for nearly two years.
One of the old Paramount diners, it opened in 1948 as the Aetna diner, before becoming the Comet, a friendly, familiar fixture in Hartford that once served Zsa Zsa Gabor. Paramount diners were built in a single-floor, railroad car shape, in what was known as the “Streamline Moderne” design in Oakland, New Jersey. This however is not the case for this diner as it has a bottom level.
With their distinctive curved edges, Paramounts were the first single-story diners to offer an all-stainless steel exterior, the now iconic look of a vintage American diner.
The diner’s name was changed again, to Dishes, which is still bears today. The Hartford Preservation Alliance is constantly fighting to save the beautiful example of the diners that once were found throughout the United States, but have been torn down, one by one. This site has recently been bought. Hartford is a city rich in history, from Mark Twain to Samuel Colt’s factory; hopefully, the HPA will be able to save a small piece of it.
Update as of June 2023: The diner is currently undergoing renovations.
Know Before You Go
Dishes sits right in the shadow of Dunkin Donuts, on the corner of Farmington and Laurel.