After 23 years in Reading Terminal Market, Jack McDavid will do a top-to-bottom, front-to-back makeover at Down Home Diner this summer. Most of the construction will be done during off-hours, but the diner will shut down for two to three weeks while the kitchen is stripped down and redone. The result: the diner will add modest-priced, BYO dinner service, the takeout operation will be improved, and on-site restrooms will be installed. Eventually, McDavid hopes to get a liquor license.
And if you haven't noticed, the Melrose Diner at 15th and Passyunk is in the middle of a renovation, which is being accomplished amid the usual tumult of the 24-hour operation. While you may notice new finishes here and there, there's been a policy shift of late that's positively earthshaking: Patrons no longer have to share booths with strangers, a forced intimacy that many found irksome.