The Glider Diner dates back to the year 1945 when Chappy LeStrange and the late Gene Cosgrove, Sr. both just out of the service, formed a partnership to go into the restaurant business.
They purchased an actual glider plane in Tobyhanna which came in parts housed in five wooden crates. They never did put the glider itself together. The instrument panel was sold to an amateur pilot in Clifford. A farmer in Waymart purchased the undercarriage to help him haul hay. The remainder of the plane was pieced together and left for children's play in a field right off Providence Road.
The actual wood from the crates was then used to build the first diner which was located in the parking lot next to the present Glider Diner.
In late 1945, the Glider Diner opened just in time for what Chappy and Gene thought would be an ideal start with a circus set to perform next to Scranton Memorial Stadium. Much to their dismay, the circus workers went on strike and the only real traffic the Glider had was in and out of their convenient restrooms!
Not certain it would succeed, Chappy continued to sell tires in Carbondale while Gene limited his Glider salary that first year to a mere twenty-five dollars a week.
But the struggles paid off. Good food, friendly service, 24-hour availability and the first television in the area helped. (The televised Wednesday Night Fight kept the four booths and ten stools filled to capacity!)
Seven year later, they purchased and had delivered to Scranton a shiny new dining car thus joining the likes of Tony Harding's, Chick's, and Yank's who were already catering to the growing interest of Scrantionians in dining out.
By the early sixties, they needed more room. In 1964, they surrounded the dining car with a new expansion. Called the "Fireside Lounge", it was an immediate hit.
By the late 60's, "fast food" had arrived with Stop 'n Go, McDonald's and others opening up. The Glider expanded its menu and added full dinners. The public still opted for fresh food prepared to order, and the steady stream of ever loyal patrons only continued to grow.
As the Glider Diner enters the new century of feeding people from all walks of life, Chappy and his son, Charlie lead a crew of faithful co-workers in keeping people happy and well fed.
It seems that Glider Burgers, thick milkshakes and french fries with gravy will never go out of style.
"It seems that Glider Burgers, thick milkshakes and french fries with gravy will never go out of style!"