Diners have changed so much over the years. Some of the earliest lunch-counters were just repurposed railroad dining cars (likely where they word ‘diner’ came from) with their gleaming stainless-steel exteriors, galley kitchen and compact booths. As rail travel declined and car culture grew, retired dining cars on concrete pylons became less common, and purpose-built diners mimicked the streamlined, art-deco style diners had become associated with.
Later, ‘Drive-In’ diners gave the public what they were looking for. Car hops would come right to the driver’s window to take their orders, and motorists would relax in their cars while sipping a cherry Coke. The style of the buildings changed to a hub-and-spoke style, maximizing efficiency parking lot space.
Now Tesla wants to build a ‘supercharger’ station in the shape of a ’50s style drive-in diner. The location was originally going to be in Santa Monica, and was to be a callback to highway rest stops. Tesla’s initial plan included a roller rink, restaurant and drive-in movie screen.
Now, the plans have changed. The location has been moved to West Hollywood (7001 W. Santa Monica Boulevard) at site of the old ‘Shakey’s‘ pizza parlour. The building will feature a drive in screen showing ‘clips’ of movies, because Tesla doesn’t want people hogging up the charging stations. Get in, charge for 15 minutes, get out. Not quite the inviting atmosphere Bob’s Big Boy or Mel’s Drive-In but since it is Hollywood, Tesla could create a reasonable facsimile of Arnold’s.