Ask a Denver, Colorado local where to grab breakfast and nine times out of ten they'll mention Tom's Diner. Located on East Colfax Avenue in Historic Denver, the 24-hour diner has been serving hungry customers in its Googie-style building since it opened in the 1960s as a White Spot Diner. Along with its history, the diner also attracts customers with its witty menu, including a menu item called "Stupid Questions."
Diner Charges Customer for Asking "Stupid Question"
When a lot of people hear the phrase "Tom's Diner," they might think of songwriter Suzanne Vega's song of the same name and the restaurant on the corner of Broadway on the Upper West Side in New York City, which was also somewhat popularized by the sitcom Seinfeld. (It was also once covered by record producer Giorgio Moroder in a remix remake featuring Britney Spears on his Déjà Vu album). This place is different.
This Tom's restaurant is in a totally different location, but its menu is pretty typical for a diner. All the usual diner favorites: coleslaw, french fries, baked potato, cottage cheese, mashed potatoes, and extensive brunch and breakfast choices like french toast and home fries.
But that's not all, the diner also includes a "Stupid Questions" menu item for $.48 and it's absolutely genius.
The greasy spoon's bill is making the rounds on social media and we can't help but wonder what Tom's Diner defines as a stupid question. According to 9News.com and general manager Hunter Landry, stupid questions can range from, "Can I have the breakfast sandwich for lunch?", "What are the monthly dues for the Turkey Club?" to "Is the garden burger grown locally?".
The menu also features a Healthy Options section which includes "Skip Your Next Meal" for $ Money well saved and Walk Home for $ Priceless. Talk about some humorous pricing!
But will Tom's be open for much longer? Property owner Tom Messina shares that he is ready to move on and spend more time with his young kids. Alberta Development approached Tom with a real estate offer of $4.8 million on the building to demolish it and make room for an eight-story apartment building, however, downtown Denver community members were less than enthused and petitioned for the building to be a historic designation when Tom and Alberta Development applied for a certificate of non-historic status from Denver's Community Planning and Development Department.
In December 2019 Tom's Diner was officially saved in a win-win situation. GBX Group and Tom settled on a deal that would add the diner to the National Register of Historic Places and let Tom Messina retire in comfort. There's no timeline when the switch will happen, but it's nice to know the diner will be saved and Tom gets to spend more time with his family.
And if you want to go ask some stupid questions at the diner right now, well...do so at your own risk.
This article was originally published on Jan 6, 2020.