Iconic downtown diner set to move for a fourth time

The iconic Fort Wayne diner is preparing to move for the fourth time since it opened in downtown Fort Wayne in the 1950s.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Moving day is fast approaching for Cindy’s Diner.  Crews have just started laying the foundation at Berry Street and Maiden Lane downtown the site of the relocation.

A lot of regulars say they’ve come to grips with the fact the diner will be moving in a couple of weeks.  In order for you to get a feel for what this means for the small business, it’s important for you to know its history.  So, Tuesday we took a look back and spoke with the owner and some customers.

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“It has become even though it was never planned that way an icon of downtown Fort Wayne and everyone from the Mayor on down is very concerned about keeping it a thriving business in downtown Fort Wayne,” owner of Cindy’s Diner John Scheele explained.

“It’s kind of a unique place. It’s small. It’s 15 stools. There aren’t many of these left,” regular at Cindy’s Kurt Roberts said.

For more than 60 years, Cindy’s Diner has been serving the whole world 15 seats at a time.  It’s a place where everyone’s treated like family.

“We know most everyone who comes in. We know their history. We’ve had births, deaths, weddings, divorces, marriages and all kinds of stuff goes through here,” Scheele said.

A menu favorite among the regulars Cindy’s World Famous “Garbage.”  That consists of potatoes, eggs, ham, and cheese according to customers we talked with.

Once a week, 3-year-old Luke and his Mom stop in for Mickey-shaped pancakes.  And his drink in a Goofy cup.

Now, Cindy’s Diner hasn’t always been at Harrison and Wayne Street. Actually when they opened up in 1952, it was at the corner of Jefferson and Clinton Street. Then in 1966 it was relocated to Clay and Berry. Then in 1990 here at Harrison and Wayne. Now in 2014, across the lot to Berry and Maiden Lane.”

“I’m glad that they found a spot that’s nearby because I live downtown. So, for me it’s an extra block walk,” Roberts said.

“I’ll still come here regardless. Doesn’t matter,” Marsha Smith said.

“Most of them couldn’t understand why they didn’t design the new structure right around us and leave us right where we’re at. Then we finally got past that,” Scheele said.

Cindy’s will be closed for 30 days during the move.

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