The State Diner
Like steamed crabs, bleach bottle blondes, and other Baltimore traditions, the State Diner on Wilkens Avenue was a Southwest Baltimore staple for several generations. Whether it was a pot of fresh coffee to get you going in the morning or a hot plate of home fries, that always in demand ‘Rapa Scrapple’ and eggs(over easy)
the State Diner was there with its doors always open as it was a 24/7 operation. While the Diner wasn’t fancy by today’s Diner standards, it seemed to suit the locals that passed through its doors just fine. Many Friday and Saturday evenings or more appropriately early mornings would find the closing time bar crowd flowing in, rambunctious and looking to continue the conversation and fun and grab some grub and coffee. Oftentimes some of the late nighters would get carried away and the local police up around the corner at Southwest Police Station would have to show up to try and settle things down knowing that they were dealing with a largely intoxicated crew from the local bars.
While some said the food left a lot to be desired, I enjoyed many omelets that I thought were quite palatable and on other occasions the Chili or Vegetable Beef along with a Tuna Salad Club was excellent, and I don’t think you could find a better Rice Pudding than what the State Diner dished up. While Mike the Greek ran the place for many years, his son Andre eventually took over, made a lot of changes and rumor has it that he got into some trouble, and eventually the place was abandoned.
As the picture shows,
there’s not much left to the place any longer, but for several generations, it was the place where you could always count on it being open regardless of what time of day or night, where you could meet some friends, or stop off after a night of partying and continue the party into the wee hours of the morning.
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