2011 UPDATE: Watch for us on the Playa...
The Dust City Diner is a magical 40s style diner, complete with a quilted stainless steel backsplash, red leather stools, chrome finishes, the Ink Spots and the Andrews Sisters on the radio, and -- of course -- blue plate specials.
Oh yeah, we have a few waitresses, too.
Created for Burning Man 2008 theme "The American Dream", the Dust City Diner served hot coffee and grilled cheese sandwiches from dusk ‘till dawn at an unannounced location in deep playa. Our goal was to provide quiet(ish) respite for those who wanted to sit, read the paper, and enjoy the company of other random, weary travelers.
For 2010 The Dust City Diner will return to the playa to continue our tradition of feeding the weary travelers. In addition, we will arrive early to feed the many artists who create artwork for the Burningman community. Please help us to do this with a donation on our website.
Our patrons describe us much better than we can. Our hats off to Vanessa for this review:
"Thrillingly, there were also gems of totality in purpose and execution--at the level of art, costuming, and attitude. One interactive art space, called the Dust City Diner, was created by masters of concept and design, and it was where I had one of my more profound moments of appreciation for what Burning Man seems to be "doing" in the world.
The Dust City Diner does what any city diner should: provide oasis at 4am to bleary-eyed travelers. In this case, however, it is a true oasis in the Platonic sense, providing beauty and refreshment in the middle of an enormous stretch of barren land. It was unreasonably well-decorated with a perfect retro-graphic sign, vinyl-covered counter stools, sturdy counter tops, metal napkin dispensers, a short-order kitchen, and waitresses who all wore the same pink dress, white apron, and platinum wig, regardless of their gender. We four hovered on two stools together, drinking tea and coffee, munching grilled cheese sandwiches with Lowry's seasoning salt off of real dishes, listening to the other "customers" and talking about what we'd seen already that night. We were in a diner. We were ouside on the playa. Without any monetary exchange we were fed. The contrast of urban cues in the diner and the utterly desolate and difficult natural world of the playa reminded me of how arbitrary our little worlds can be. We remember this in times of crisis: an earthquake, a fire, moving out. We see that it's all temporary and permeable and filled with mortality. I get so easily lulled into feeling "at home" with my stuff, in my little walls and boxes, as if living with the knowledge the Temporary would destroy me. But it doesn't. Sitting in an un-walled restaurant, which is a "real" restaurant despite having a different deep playa location every night, I felt that deep acceptance of entropy and chaos that ultimately describes what is real beauty in the world. We can never repeat anything. With that truth, nothing is mundane, and the truly transcendent is miraculous."
-- from http://gorgeouscuriosity.blogspot.com/2008/09/and-then-we-burned.html
If you found us this year, let us know what you think on Yelp!
All the best,
The Team behind Dust City Diner