Established in 1941
In 1941, Uncle John J. O'Rourke, a veteran of Jack's Lunch, purchased the old wooden Dunn's Diner. In 1946, he replaced the diner with a sparkling Mountain View diner to accommodate the growing crowds. When Uncle John retired in 1977, current owner Brian O’Rourke and his cousin, John Sweeney O'Rourke bought the diner. Brian's culinary talents emerged in the form of wonderful soups like Irish stew and roasted plum tomato. Brian bought out his cousin in 1985 to "take the diner to the next level." He currently uses his experiences from the kitchens of New Orleans, Barttra (Ireland), and the Caribbean to reinvent the omelet. This was the beginning of O'Rourke's Diner as we know it .
Sadly, on August 31, 2006, O'Rourke's Diner was decimated by fire. The community united and helped bring O'Rourke's Diner back. In February 2007, the doors were opened again!
Brian began working at the diner in 1959 as a young lad, peeling potatoes and retrieving milk and soda bottles for his Uncle John. In 1962, he grilled his first order of eggs. As a high school honors student, he was working up to 40 hours per week, in addition to delivering newspapers (he still speaks of 8 hours of sleep a week, whether he needs it or not). He gained much experience throughout his travels, and he uses those experiences to bring his diners on a unique taste-bud journey through his dishes. When you visit the diner, you will often find Brian visiting tables with various treats he is working on. Occasionally, you will be greeted with spoons of sweet bread batter!
O'Rourke's Diner - A Brief Timeline
1941 – Uncle John J. O’Rourke, a veteran of Jack’s Lunch, purchases the old wooden Dunn’s Diner.
1946 – Uncle John replaces the diner with a brand new sparkling Mountain View diner to accommodate the growing crowds.
1959 – Brian O’Rourke, as a young lad, peels potatoes and retrieves milk and soda bottles for his Uncle John.
1962 – Brian grills his first order of eggs!
1966 – As a high school honors student, Brian works up to 40 hours per week, in addition to delivering newspapers. (He still speaks of 8 hours of sleep a week, whether he needs it or not!)
1977 – Uncle John retires. Brian O’Rourke and his cousin, John Sweeney O’Rourke buy the diner. Brian’s culinary talents emerge in the form of wonderful soups like Irish stew and roasted plum tomato.
1985 – Brian buys out his cousin to “take the diner to the next level.” He uses his experiences throughout the ’80s in the kitchens of New Orleans, Barttra (Ireland), and the Caribbean to reinvent the omelet. This is the beginning of O’Rourke’s Diner as we know it – a cross-section of humanity with amazing culinary artistry!
August 31, 2006 – O’Rourke’s Diner is decimated by fire.
Sept. 2006–Feb. 2007 – The community unites to “raise the phoenix from the flames!”
O’Rourke’s Diner would like to extend its most sincere thanks to all of those who made this dream a reality. Without the compassion and generosity of the Connecticut community, we would not have survived the fateful fire. It is an honor to be serving you once again.