• Jerry Abbott

    I have had lunch and dinner there with my parents in about 1948 to 1952. I saw they were gone some time back.

    March 15, 2016
    • Thanks for stopping by and reading the post, Jerry. I think you mean you visited the original location in Buellton, CA. The dining car café. You are fortunate to have seen them in their original glory!

      March 15, 2016
  • I hope they didn’t destroy them – what a sin! I own a dining car here in Rhode Island and have had battles with the city going on for years. We were located in Providence, RI, for over 60 years, a city landmark. The city took the land by emanate domain and evicted us.

    Another city, Pawtucket, RI, begged me to move there. I did and they never kept their part of the bargain in helping me getting it running again. Please help stop corruption from taking my diner! The Silver Top Diner in Rhode Island, a 1936 Kullman dining car.

    News coverage from NBC can be found here: Silver Top Diner Saga Drags On In Court http://www.turnto10.com/story/28633454/silver-top-diner-saga-drags-on-in-court

    Facebook- savethesilvertopdiner

    April 23, 2015
    • Pat, thanks for stopping by and sharing your horrific story. So sorry to hear about all your troubles with Rhode Island cities. Fortunately, these Mullen dining cars were saved by the Bitter Creek Western Railroad, as I mentioned at the bottom of my post in the update. Sadly, they are no longer part of the original cafe in Buellton, California. Best wishes in your funding campaign!

      April 24, 2015
  • Michelle Smith

    It is amazing that they saved the old Dining cars. First off I want to say thank you. I noticed in the articles there is no mention of the people who lived there before Mr. & Mrs. Frank Haas bought the property. My brother and myself spent a lot of time in there due to the fact my fathers mother lived there and so did my father. I just thought that people used to live in there after it was a diner and before Mr. & Mrs. Frank Haas bought the property. Just wanted to let people know. Thank you again for saving them a piece of my heart will always be with them.

    December 01, 2013
    • Michelle, thanks so much for stopping by and reading my post on these wonderful dining cars. I really appreciate the additional information you provided. And you are correct, in reading many articles on the web, there is little information available on the history before the Haas family purchased the property. Thanks for filling in some of the blanks. I have fond memories of driving through Buellton and stopping to admire the shuttered restaurant. Only wish I had been able to gain access to photograph the interiors before they were gutted. Thanks again.

      December 02, 2013
      • Michelle Smith

        Renee~ I will try to get you some
        Pictures if I can find you some. I think we
        Have one of a waitress who worked there
        That shows the inside when it was open 🙂

        December 02, 2013
    • Thanks again Michelle. That would be great if you had any images I could add to my post. When I have time I will update and expand the history. I also plan on visiting the Bitter Creek Western Railroad where the dining cars now rest. Really appreciate your interest and assistance.

      December 02, 2013
      • Michelle Smith

        I will talk to my mom to where she put
        The picture, since she is decorating
        For Christmas. We were also giving a
        Needle point from a gentleman of the
        Dining cars and the gas pumps. I would
        Love to meet you there once I have
        All the pictures. Like I said there is a lot of
        History with them. 🙂

        December 02, 2013
  • Joe Myers

    So this got me to ask a friend of mine who is Very into train stuff – and I found them…


    There were moved to a private site just outside of Arroyo Grande.

    September 13, 2013
    • A huge thank you, Joe, for finally solving the great mystery on the ultimate fate of these vintage dining cars. I so deeply appreciate this information and the link to the Bitter Creek Western Railroad. Will have to make a trip down there and visit. Much gratitude! :–))

      September 13, 2013
  • Joe Myers

    I love your images of the old rail cars. I too have wondered where they have gone since they left the corner in Morro Bay

    I snapped some pics not too long before they left Buellton, and a couple in Morro but they were just snapshots.

    Did you ever find out more info as to what happened to them?

    September 12, 2013
    • Joe, thanks for stopping by and leaving your kind comments. I am happy you enjoyed my images of the dining cars. You are fortunate to have taken some photos both in Buellton and Morro Bay. After the dining cars got transported to Morro Bay, the classic vintage interiors were gutted, sadly. That is why I did not attempt to photograph the interiors, as there was nothing there but construction materials and tools.

      I have been trying to find out what happened to the dining cars but have no information yet. If I do, I will update my post and leave a new comment here. All I know is that the City of Morro Bay made things very difficult for the new owner in terms of permits, and that local restaurants did not want another competitor. A real pity.

      September 12, 2013
    • Chris Hampton

      I have many photos I took of the boxcar restaurant in Buellton 2005-2007.

      July 13, 2016
      • Hi Chris: If you’d kindly use the Contact page on my website to send me the link to your photos, I will be happy to take a look. If I feel they are helpful, I will add the link in my blog post. Thank you.

        July 13, 2016
  • Hi Rene’e, I just wanted to pass on to you one of the original neon signs are in operation at the Road Side Cafe, Orange, CA Roadsidecafeorange.com. Thanks

    August 22, 2013
    • Hello Glenn: Thanks so much for stopping by and reading my post. I am so happy to hear that you rescued one of the original neon signs from Mullen’s Dining Car Café. I lived in Orange County for many years and miss the fact that there are so few diners like yours in the San Luis Obispo area. Wish I knew what became of the dining cars; the City of Morro Bay did not want them at the intersection of Highways 1 & 41, and would not grant a permit to the new owner who wanted to refurbish them and build a diner. What a shame. Thanks again! If I get back to the OC I will definitely stop by your place.

      August 23, 2013
  • […] Fate of the Vintage Mullen’s Dining Cars – Buellton, California – the romance of history on rails comes to life in this trio of shots captured and posted here by Renée M. Besta.  What once formed a part of an iconic diner, these old train cars now sit awaiting their fate, covered in textures and weathering from years of neglect.  This is a terrific story, even though the outcome is still yet unwritten. […]

    May 24, 2013
    • Thanks so much for hopping by and reading my post, Toad. And for including me in your wonderful Light Stalking article. You provide a very valuable service to photographers by collating and publishing interesting posts all over the web.

      Much appreciated. Thanks again. You rock!

      May 25, 2013
  • Great article Renée, once set in place these two rail cars quickly became an icon of Morro Bay. Continuing their history as part of Morro Bay would have been a great addition, it’s unfortante short sight is stronger than foresight.

    May 23, 2013
    • Thanks for stopping by and leaving comments, Kevin. Perhaps as a local resident, you have an answer as to why the owner moved these vintage dining cars and where they went. Did he sell them? Were they hauled off and trashed? Hopefully not. All I know is that the powers-that-be made it very difficult to obtain the necessary permits to restore them and open a restaurant in that location, which would have been wonderful for tourism in Morro Bay.

      May 23, 2013

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