The history of Sally’s Diner

Before Sara’s

What is now known as Sally’s Diner was not always named that.  The diner was originally built in 1957 by the Mountain View Diner’s Company.  Sally’s diner is number 522 of 523 diners built by the company.  The diner had two previous names before it arrived in Erie, Pennsylvania.  It was originally called Serro’s Diner, located in Norwin, Pennsylvania.  After that, the diner was moved to Butler, Pennsylvania in 1976 where it was named Morgan’s Eastland Diner.

Sally’s Arrival

In 2003, Sean Candela purchased the diner and named it Sally’s, his mother’s nickname. Bringing the diner to Erie, was such a massive undertaking that the diner was brought in two pieces.  Visitors to Sally’s can still see the line that separated each piece.  Another unique feature to the diner is the original booths, tables, tiles, and counter top.

The diner has served many purposes throughout its 14 years at Sara’s; In recent years, we have been finding more and more ways to utilize the diner.  Today the diner is a one stop shop for Sara’s memorabilia; it is also used as extra, air-conditioned, seating for our patrons, and overall, a special step back into the past.

That’s all for now.  Be sure to check back soon for more.


Pal’s Sudden Service

Early this week Sean and I traveled to Kingsport, Tennessee to attend Pal’s Business Excellence Institute.  The institute was a two-day event filled with best practices, procedures, and principles that Pal’s Sudden Service used to achieve The Malcom Baldrige Award in the early 2000’s which made them the first restaurant ever to win this prestigious business award.

What is Pal’s Sudden Service?

Pal’s Sudden Service was founded in Kingsport, Tennessee in 1956 by Pal Barger.  He first thought of opening a quick service restaurant after getting the idea while stationed in Austin, Texas.  This eastern Tennessee chain expanded one step at a time; by 1999, there were 16 stores.

What makes Pal’s so special?

In 2001, Pal’s Sudden Service became the first restaurant ever to win the Malcom Baldrige National Quality Award.  Since then, Pal’s opened a total of 29 stores in Tennessee and Virginia.  Pal’s Sudden Service is best known for outperforming all other fast food restaurants in profitability, wait time, customer retention, and much more.  The practices and processes used through Pal’s Sudden Service are truly one of a kind.

Pal’s Business Excellence Institute

Pal’s founded their Business Excellence Institute shortly after winning the Malcom Baldrige award, and it enabled other businesses, from not only the United States but around the world, to learn the extraordinary business practices implemented at Pal’s Sudden Service.  During our session, we were joined by other leaders from various restaurants you can find throughout the United States and Canada.  It was wonderful to not only learn best practices from Pal’s, but it was also wonderful to talk to these other business leaders to see what is happening at other restaurants.  Sean and I gathered a ton of great ideas and business practices to bring back to Sara’s.  We cannot wait to implement these ideas to better serve our customers.

To learn more about Pal’s Sudden Service and the Business Excellence Institute, check it out here.

That’s all for now.  Be sure to check back soon for more.


St. Patrick’s Day Give Away!

Happy Saint Patrick’s day from everyone here at Sara’s!  With only two weeks until opening day, we will be giving away one more preseason gift card.  For your chance to win, like and follow us on facebook!  Be sure to share our posts with your friends, and always check in to see what is new!  Have a wonderful weekend and stay safe!

We Are Open!

At Sara’s we strive to create a fun and safe working environment. We want out customers to enjoy their time here at the entrance to Presque Isle State Park.

Here is an article from Thunder road magazine.