Abandoned Roadside 1950s Diner Captured in Video, Frozen in Time

A video shared online has captured an abandoned roadside diner, with the menus, cups and saucers all still in place.

TikTok user and urban explorer @xplorewithsonny posted the footage of his discovery in June, which can be seen here, reaching over 4 million views.

Cooking gadgets, booths and chairs were all still intact, albeit extremely dirty, while the rest of the location appeared burnt through, with the ceiling hanging down.

The first clip gave an outside view of the place located in Buffalo, New York, which although doesn't appear that welcoming, seemed somewhat still frozen in time.

A following clip showed an advertisement for the diner's "eight piece fresh Broaster Chicken" soup of the day, costing $14.99.

Following clips captured the restaurant's crockery, which appears exactly how it was when left, in place on the table as if the plates are waiting for diners to return.

It's unclear exactly what happened to the diner, or its exact location, but the burnt interior gives a large hint as to why diners left in such a hurry, and why no one has returned since. A commenter analyzed that the ceiling likely caught fire as a consequence of the grease traps in the vents over the grill not being cleaned.

The TikTok video can be seen in full here.

As reported by Snopes, another urban explorer visited the diner in 2021, and shared his experience on YouTube. Urbex and Chill's video gives a longer look at the place, lasting over six minutes.

The YouTuber indicated that the diner looked to fit around 16 people at a time and showed closer details, including a left-behind sign reading: "Friendship warms the heart."

Although some food items are still in perfect condition on the above head sign, recent explorers appeared to have changed others around, with some reading innuendos instead.

The food items were however able to give clues on the background of the diner, including the decade it's from. Both videos referred to it as a "1950s diner," but Redditers had other ideas, using inflation tools to work out when the prices seem to be from.

"Trying to figure out when it was abandoned," wrote one user. "Three eggs, home fries, toast = $2.00. I'm thinking that would be equivalent to $9.00 at a roadside diner today. I'm getting 1976 using an inflation calculator."

Others however estimated that a modern diner would actually charge around $5 for that meal, which instead places it at around the mid 1980s. While others suggested that the prices were "about right for early to mid 90s in upstate New York."

The pink-and-white-tiled decor certainly nods to a 1950s origin, but the 80s was an era of 50s nostalgia, making it plausible that the diner was simply themed that way, rather than actually being built in the 50s.

Newsweek has contacted Sonny for comment.

People eating in a 1950s diner
A view of people eating at a lunch counter circa 1950 in downtown Nashville, Tennessee. A similar-style diner has gone viral after an urban explorer documented it. Bob Grannis/Getty Images

UPDATE 8/23/21 11:42 a.m. ET: This article was updated to include a link to a TikTok video.