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Classic ‘50s diner near Calgary struggling to stay open

Classic ‘50s diner near Calgary struggling to stay open
Marv's Soda Shop in Black Diamond is a popular vintage destination, but business slows to a near halt once the snow falls. As Tiffany Lizée reports, the owner is worried the diner won’t be able to survive the winter.

Marv’s Classic Soda Shop in Black Diamond is a popular vintage destination, but business slows to a near halt once the snow falls and the owner is worried the diner won’t be able to survive the winter.

“From a historic point of view it’s really important to have this here. Our visitors come from Hawaii, they come from California, New Zealand, Australia,” said Marv Garriott, owner of Marv’s Classic Soda Shop.

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Marv’s is a Classic 50’s Diner located just 25 minutes south of Calgary in Black Diamond Alberta.
Marv’s is a Classic 50’s Diner located just 25 minutes south of Calgary in Black Diamond Alberta. Courtesy: marvsclassicsodashop.com

The vintage diner has been a fixture in southern Alberta since the turn of the century but throughout recent years, business has slowed down putting the diner at risk of closing.

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“It seems like it’s a fine line. Right there in September, our business drops in half and then in October, it drops in half again and then from there it just keeps dropping for the winter,” Garriott said.

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Marv’s Classic Soda Shop opened nearly 20 years ago in the heart of Black Diamon, Alta.
Marv’s Classic Soda Shop opened nearly 20 years ago in the heart of Black Diamon, Alta. Courtesy: marvsclassicsodashop.com

Marv just celebrated his 74th birthday and says he spends seven days a week at the diner and there’s nowhere else he’d rather be.

“The shop is basically home for me — my home away from home I guess,” said Garriott.

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Ron Chase makes a point of stopping by every time he’s in the area and said he’d be very disappointed to see the vintage diner close down.

“That would be a terrible tragedy for this community because Marv’s is sort of the centrepiece for Black Diamond”

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But Garriott says after exhausting all of his savings, he’s not sure the shop will be able to survive this winter.