August 12, 2013

Zoe's Diner

 photo 4faaaf1b-9612-402d-8d28-884508bbd4d1.jpg

We invited the neighbors over for a barbecue a couple of weeks ago and I turned our backyard bar area into a faux diner.

After that, the faux diner idea sort of took on a life of its own.

Here's a look at the upgrade . . .
I ordered two more plates from Now we can serve six instead of four.
 photo file-2.jpg

 photo placematcollage7.jpg

Remember the diner placemats along major travel routes during the 50s? They were flimsy paper things with a map showing the location of the diner and the main tourist attractions along the route.

Welcome to Zoe's Place. Feel free to take the complimentary map with you as you continue your travels.

 photo ZoesPlacematFinal9.jpg
FedEx printed the 11 by 17-inch placemats. I wanted 13 by 19, but the price for anything over 11 inches was astronomical. Turns out, 11 by 17 is just fine.

 photo file-3.jpg

Some checker-rimmed plates and old-style coffee shop mugs add to the look.

 photo file-4.jpg

An old wallbox had been sitting in the garage for almost 10 years. Clearly, it was time to clean off the dust and either sell it
or fix it.

I found a place within driving distance that repairs them.

It now sits at the end of the counter (formally known as the bar).

The wallbox is connected to an old iPod and a set of powered speakers.

A dish of nickels and dimes sits nearby, inviting guests to pick a song.

 photo 6871ca94-af37-4fd1-bd80-4fd52ca279bb.jpg

Now for the fun part - which is of little interest to anyone but the people who live at my house.

The picture at the right shows my original menu design.

Below . . .

The new menu cover.
 photo 5e4b7c29-5e3a-4193-8399-2bc8f103cae6.jpg
Yes, I agree. She is just about the cutest thing on two legs. Grandchildren are wonderful!
I found a pattern for a no-sew 50s waitress costume on the internet and managed to get her in it without doing too much damage to the outfit or her usual morning-time good mood.

A history of the place was invented and written on the back of the menu.
 photo ZoesBackofMenu.jpg

The inside of the menu looks as though there are many choices, but a closer look says otherwise.
I keep a template on my computer and will change the menu servings as the evening's meal dictates.
 photo ZoesINSIDEMenu4.jpg

Who's old enough to remember Flo and Mel's Diner?

Dinner plates: Homer Laughin China, 4 yard sale, 2
Red salad plates: Crate and Barrel
Black bowls: Yard Sale
Red flatware: Ginkgo,
Mugs and Catsup/Salt and Pepper/Menu Holder: I think I found these on Amazon. It's been a while.
Straw dispenser: gift from my mother, years ago
Pink T-shirts, felt, and lace: JoAnn Fabrics
Placemats and Menus: Graphics from Johnny Rockets menus and advertisements, found on internet

I'm connecting to Alphabe-Thursday and
Cuisine Kathleen's Let's Dish #77


  1. Brings back some memories for me! Awesome placemats & what a fun place to dine! Jeanne S

  2. Oh such fun and so creative ~ great shots and hope you had a wonderful time ~ thanks, carol, xo

    ps. artmusedog is really Zoe ~

  3. What a fun bbq! I love the theme! You did a great job with the decorations!!

  4. What a fun theme for the barbecue! Love those placemats!

  5. What fun! I love the place mats!

  6. Such fun!Love the place mats too!

  7. How fun! Love the place mats!

  8. What a fun theme -- I'm sure your neighbors loved it, even if they only had one choice for dinner! LOL! The place mats were a clever idea! Hope the jukebox will work like you want it to!

  9. Oh My Word! This is just too cute! Love the placemats and the menu! What a fun party! I LOVE your juke box selector (not sure what those things are called), even if it doesn't work, but if you do get it wired up to work, that would be awesome. I'm pinning one of these photos. I am going to have to borrow some of these ideas. laurie

    1. It was fun. If you have one of those tall straw dispensers, put it out too. I forgot to use mine.

  10. What a fun idea! Clever, clever, clever! That will be soo cool if your man can fix the jute box! You might have to open a real diner!

  11. Ahh this a very great one...clever! It must be a lovely night.


  12. OMG!! Love, love, love! This is creative.

  13. Cool and very creative! And it sounds like the price was right too. I admire people who can find such treasures at garage sales.

    1. Actually, there's no bargains on that counter. The woman who was selling the checker-rimmed dishes knew exactly what she had. Better than, but only because I wasn't paying for shipping.

      I had the condiment holder and napkin holder because we put together a movie concession stand a few years back. And of course, I had the black and red dishes too. So many there's a little bargain in there somewhere.

  14. Cutest post, ever! Yes, I remember those placemats! I know your guests must have been delighted with this adorable space and honored that you would go to so much trouble for them. Darling, darling, darling - love it!!

  15. This is so awesome and clever and fun!

  16. What a smart and clever idea. I'll bet it was fun.

  17. What a marvelous idea... I bet this was an evening that made wonderful memories for everyone!

    Magnificent post for the letter "M"...

    Thanks for linking.


  18. Sheer genius and so much fun. I love it! Thanks for inviting us for a peak. Cherry Kay

  19. This is so cute and so much fun. I am sure your guests were in awe....Christine

  20. This a fabulous way to entertain and this is such a great idea for your outdoor patio now diner! I love the great place mats and how you created the checked border to match the plates. The darling waitress is the perfect addition to your menu! She is priceless!


  21. Hi Denise!
    I was so happy to hear from you! This is just wonderful! You just happened to have a wall box? :)
    The menu is adorable but you gdau steals the show. You are such a clever gal! So glad you linked up! Hope you won't be a stranger.
    Happy not going back to school!

    1. Hi! It's good to hear from you too.
      As a matter of fact, I did just happen to have a wallbox. Sounds fishy, I know, but the truth is I bought it about 10 years ago with the intention of hooking it up to a CD player. It sat in the garage all this time. Meanwhile, Apple invented the iPod. Earlier this month, my husband INSISTED I clean up "my half" of the garage so that we could get both cars in. I came across the wallbox and decided I was either going to have to sell it, or get it working. So, I ran down a guy who fixes them and ordered the part that allows you to hook one up to an iPod. End of this boring story.
      Actually, I haven't been a stranger. I pop over to your blog enough to keep up with all your comings and goings. I , too, was happy to be able to watch the school bus run by my house and know that I wasn't going to have to greet the riders later that morning. I am worried about the course public education is on these days. Makes me mighty nervous. Sorry to write you through the blog-contact-thingie, but your email has demoted me to Junk Mail in the past. Have a great Labor Day Weekend.

    2. Really, I didn't know about the junk mail thing. Any ideas how I fix that?
      I agree about the schools! oy!

  22. Cute theme ... lots of work and it paid off! Very adorable little girl! Times to remember. Thanks for sharing.

  23. What an adorable idea for a party. You certainly came up with some clever details. And yes, I'm old enough to remember. Ha!

  24. Love, love, love! Your attention to detail is amazing...grandchild on the menu is the best!

  25. Cute cute cute! And I'm not just talking about the founder of Zoe's :-) Love every bit of this Denise!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...