Wonderful 2005 nighttime shot (unknown source)
1975 photo of then co-owner Robert James
1975 photo of brother Ralph James refilling the iced-tea dispenser
Above three pictures all from 1975
1976 exterior shot (looks the same today!)
Mid-80's nighttime shot (courtesy of Byron Baldwin)
Above thirteen pictures all courtesy of Rick Fisher (Thanks, Rick!)
Located around the corner from the Penguin in the Elizabeth neighborhood is the Diamond Restaurant. The restaurant was opened in 1945 on Commonwealth Ave in a small unassuming brick building by the James family. It was originally called the Diamond Soda Grill and was owned and operated by Flonnie and W. A, James. Sons Robert and Ralph James took over the restaurant operations from their parents in 1963 and ran the Diamond until 1982 when they sold the restaurant to Jerry Pistiolis. The restaurant has kept things simple over the years (the interior has remained unchanged as well as the menu). People have been coming for years for the classic home-cooking--baked and fried chicken, corn muffins, and custard pie are among the favorites.
The Diamond has withstood many obstacles throughout the years--the loss of direct accessibility from Independence Blvd, a neighborhood that was on the skids throughout the 1970's and 80's. By providing good food at a reasonable price, the Diamond has assured its place in Charlotte restaurant history (past and present).