The building that houses the CHERRY STREET DINER was
built about 1897, by news editor George McIntyre for the
publication of the SHELL ROCK NEWS. When the newspaper
changed its location, Jim Mullen had a general
merchandise store, MULLEN’S, in this location with a
bowling alley in the basement.
In 1925, the Walter Peterson family moved to the ‘News’
building, and operated as PETERSON’S GARDEN CAFÉ. The
family lived upstairs until 1937. There was a
shuffleboard court in the basement and dances were held
upstairs after the ballgames. Walt and June Peterson
operated as the ‘Garden Café’ until 1949.
Wayne Peterson supplied records showing the gross weekly
sales for March 3, 1938 totaled $222.93. Payroll for the
week of April 4, 1938, showed Reed Orvis receiving a
check for $12.84. For the week of June 4, 1938, Clyde
Williams received a check of $6.90. For the week of June
24, 1939,June Peterson, Glenn Peterson, and Wilma Schwab
each received $4.92.
Dale and Viola Cain operated the restaurant as CAIN’S
GARDEN CAFE from 1949 to1962. Don and Doris
Thompson ran it from 1962 to 1967, as THOMPSON’S GARDEN
CAFE. Clarence ‘Limie’ and Maxine LaVille owned it from
1967-1971, and called it
LIMIE’S TAP AND GRILL. Ronald ‘Cave’ Shin ran it
as SHIN’S CAVE in 1972.
Jim and Dorothy Leemon opened JIM’S RIVER LOUNGE in 1973
and ran it until at least 1983. They then leased the
building to a couple from Cedar Falls and also Jim
Dawson who ran it as
a bar/grill still called ‘Jim’s River Lounge’ until Di
Frey bought it in 1989. During the 1990’s a
well-known café, Di's Pub & Grub, run by Di Miller. She
opened at 5:30 a.m. and was famous for her big
breakfasts. Meals were served all through the day
until 10 p.m.
Many young women in Shell Rock began their work career
waitressing at this restaurant. In 1992, Di did
extensive remodeling including an addition and
separating the bar and dining area.She ran it until 2001
when Clair and Connie Neuendorf opened it as SOUTHERN
EXPOSURE for two years.
In 2003, Stephanie Bowen Janssen purchased the building
and started HOMETOWN BAR AND GRILL. Interestingly
enough, Stephanie is the niece of Di Miller,
long-time owner of Di’s. Stephanie is the
third-generation of her family to own and run a
restaurant in Shell Rock.
In 2007 bring
new owners Julie….
Page Online: 25 Oct