Why I built this Diners, Drive-ins and Dives Fan Site
How it started
It started back in 2008 when my girlfriend Jennifer introduced me to the "Byways Cafe" in Portland, OR. It was our first every vacation together and she knew that I loved those "local" bars / restauransts and I wasn't a chain restaurant guy so she put together this trip for us and the "Byways Cafe" was one of the breakfast spots she had chosen for us.
Visiting the Byways Cafe
This was such a great little spot, there was a line to get in, we sat at the counter to eat and the food was great! Best part is that this restaurant had the character and down home feel of being a "local" that I liked which I'm always down for + it was not a chain restaurant so I was hooked!
We had gone to other local places that were not Diners, Drive-ins and Dives so I was pretty impressed with the itinerary she put together + we also made room for some "tiki bars" which to this day are always part of our trips whenever we go somewhere (hmm, is there a tiki bar finder out there??? if not, I should make one) but the "Byways Cafe" ended up being one of the lasting topics that I talked about during our trip so after more chatting about the tv show, she's telling me about how Guy won Food Network Start and he now goes to all these mom & pop restaurants all over the country, I was intrigued to say the least. Turns out by the end of the trip I decided to create this website to track all of these restaurants!
Domain Created in December 2008
If you look at when the domain was created it was December 1st, 2008 and from there, the rest is history as we have been adding, maintaining and cultivating the "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives" community site every since.
Keeping the site up to date has been a daily task and I don't see that stopping unless I sell the site
Good thing I'm a bit of a geek as I was early to the party with the ReplayTV & TiVo recording devices so it was easy to record all of those "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives" shows so by the time the site was up I was behind by about 200+ shows already so it was a lot of "time" to get those into the systen, it really was a labor of love since we travelled so much back in those days so it was a must that I had to get them all in there ASAP and be one of the only sites that had ALL of them out there for public consumption.
Little help from my friends
I have to commend so many folks filling out the contact us form as they would give me tips about restaurants that I was missing, had closed and/or had wrong data. It was a wide range of people from airline pilots, bikers, airline attendants, retired folks who would ride their motorcycle around the country just following Guy Fieri around and even appearing on the show to becoming one of his good and one of ours to this day.
I have even gotten a few of them swinging by Minneapolis, MN and wanted to have dinner with Jennifer & I so it's been a pretty amazing journey for us to meet all these like-minded people. I am so thankful that this site has been part of our lives and it continues to see thousands of visitors each day which makes me smile knowing that so many folks are giving theri money to these mom & pop restaurants.