History of the Cherry Creek Diner


The building that houses the CHERRY STREET DINER was built about 1897, by news editor George McIntyre for the publication of the SHELL ROCK NEWS.  When the newspaper changed its location, Jim Mullen had a general merchandise store, MULLEN’S, in this location with a bowling alley in the basement.

In 1925, the Walter Peterson family moved to the ‘News’ building, and operated as PETERSON’S GARDEN CAFÉ. The family lived upstairs until 1937. There was a shuffleboard court in the basement and dances were held upstairs after the ballgames.  Walt and June Peterson operated as the ‘Garden Café’ until 1949.


Wayne Peterson supplied records showing the gross weekly sales for March 3, 1938 totaled $222.93. Payroll for the week of April 4, 1938, showed Reed Orvis receiving a check for $12.84. For the week of June 4, 1938, Clyde Williams received a check of $6.90. For the week of June 24, 1939,June Peterson, Glenn Peterson, and Wilma Schwab each received $4.92.


Dale and Viola Cain operated the restaurant as CAIN’S GARDEN CAFE from 1949 to1962.   Don and Doris Thompson ran it from 1962 to 1967, as THOMPSON’S GARDEN CAFE.  Clarence ‘Limie’ and Maxine LaVille owned it from 1967-1971, and called it

LIMIE’S TAP AND GRILL.   Ronald ‘Cave’ Shin ran it as SHIN’S CAVE in 1972.

Jim and Dorothy Leemon opened JIM’S RIVER LOUNGE in 1973 and ran it until at least 1983. They then leased the building to a couple from Cedar Falls and also Jim Dawson who ran it as

a bar/grill still called ‘Jim’s River Lounge’ until Di Frey bought it in 1989.  During the 1990’s a well-known café, Di's Pub & Grub, run by Di Miller.  She opened at 5:30 a.m. and was famous for her big breakfasts.  Meals were served all through the day until 10 p.m.

Many young women in Shell Rock began their work career waitressing at this restaurant.  In 1992, Di did extensive remodeling including an addition and separating the bar and dining area.She ran it until 2001 when Clair and Connie Neuendorf opened it as SOUTHERN EXPOSURE for two years.

In 2003, Stephanie Bowen Janssen purchased the building and started  HOMETOWN BAR AND GRILL. Interestingly enough, Stephanie is the niece of  Di Miller, long-time owner of Di’s. Stephanie is the third-generation of her family to own and run a restaurant in Shell Rock. 

In 2007 bring new owners Julie…. 


Source:  http://www.shellrockiowa.org/business/CherryStreetDinerHistory.htm


Page Online: 25 Oct 2015