The Mason Depot Diner celebrates a milestone this year: 25 years. That’s a lot of pizza, ice cream and burgers.
The depot at Mason and Columbia streets was built in 1902 by the Michigan Central Railroad. The building went vacant for 35 years before it was restored to its original condition. Mason resident Rosie Forquer is going on year 15 of being a server at Mason Depot Diner.
Forquer said,“I love my job. I really enjoy working here at this diner. I’ve served the best customers ever here in Mason.”
Forquer said owners Rod and Kathy Hunt have owned and operated this diner for 25 years so far.
“The history of this place is explained a lot on the front of the menu. I know it used to be an ice cream parlor and a pizza place before this until the owners took over 25 years ago and turned it into a family diner,” Forquer said.
The atmosphere is warm and cozy as soon as customers walk in. Railroad and street signs and pictures of trains and the old depot decorate the walls. Wooden tables and chairs are to give an up-north log cabin feel. Customers can look out the window and still see railroad tracks.
Lynna Walta, attendance secretary at Mason High School, said she just went to the Mason Depot Diner for the first time last week.
“My first experience was really good. My daughter really enjoys going. Bring cash, though! They do not accept credit or debit cards,” Walta said.
Principal Lance Delbridge at Mason High School summed up the diner in six words:“Great atmosphere, great service, great food.”
Nicholas Toodizo, Assistant Principal at Mason High School, said he has visited the diner before.
Toodizo said, “I’ve had a really positive experience there, especially for breakfast.”
This diner and depot have become an important landmark here. The depot allowed the trains to transfer goods and people in and out of Mason. The diner allows the residents of Mason to visit a historic place that has been in Mason since 1902; more than 100 years. People from Mason and outside of the Mason area can enjoy a breakfast and lunch with huge portions. However, customers have to get to the diner before 2 p.m. because dinner is never served.