New diner assembled in Wilmington likely to debut in September


Patricia Talorico

An old-school style diner, built and shipped from Atlanta, is being reassembled in pieces at its new Wilmington site.

Goober's Diner, a venture from Buckley's Tavern owners Tom Hannum and Vance Kershner, is located off Pennsylvania Avenue in Wilmington.

Late last week, the two-story stainless steel diner was moved into a vacant lot behind the Dunkin' Donuts and across from Grotto Pizza at 13th and North Lincoln streets. 

Most of the structure is in place, but Hannum said Monday that workers were still adding air-conditioning units, hood fans and other pieces on the roof.

The opening of the diner, originally planned for July, has been pushed back to early September.

The "Great American" 1950s-style modular building is designed by Dinermite Diners, an Atlanta company that has been manufacturing diners for more than 50 years.

Frey-Moss, which builds modular structures, delivered the diner to Wilmington in pieces.

The diner is a companion to a next-door vintage car garage, known as Goober's Garage. It houses a vast collection of classic automobiles and motorcycles owned by Kershner.

The Wilmington resident runs the privately owned Wilmington company LabWare Inc., which develops software for automating laboratory operations.

Kershner, a former DuPont Co. engineer, is well-known for his community contributions.

He restored the Oberod Estate, a former du Pont family home built in the 1930s, off Burnt Mill Road in Centreville for LabWare's training facilities.

Kershner also remodeled a home off Kentmere Parkway in Wilmington, and operates a 15,000-acre game farm in South Africa.

The name of the diner and garage comes from a character on the old "Andy Griffith Show."

Goober's Garage will not be open regularly to the public, but Hannum said diner customers will be able to view the cars on special occasions.

The diner will offer old-style comfort food classics like croquettes and breakfast all day.

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