September 19, 2014

Elyria
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Donna’s Diner bottled sodas available for purchase

ELYRIA — Everyone wants a piece of Donna’s Diner ever since the Elyria eatery was featured in the New York Times.

Owner Donna Dove said menus and name placards are disappearing like crazy. Becoming popular is a good problem, though, and Dove has a new idea she hopes will satisfy customers thirsty for diner memorabilia.

She is using a private label bottle distributor to make Donna’s Diner bottled sodas, complete with a watercolor image of the diner’s front window as photographed by a Times photographer. The photo was turned into a watercolor painting by an artist from Maine, and Dove reduced the image to fit on the bottle.

The drinks — root beer, vanilla cream, grape, apple and black cherry — arrived in January and are reminiscent of old soda pop bottles, but more importantly to Dove, a tasty way to take a piece of the Middle Avenue eatery home.

“Losing my menus was driving me crazy,” Dove said. “But you can only buy these here, so it’s helping and it’s pretty cool.”

Since the series featuring Dove’s restaurant and Elyria ran for a week prior to the presidential election last year, Dove said she has tried to find ways to thank those who have supported her and capitalize on her so-called “15 minutes of fame.” She doesn’t know how long she will sell the beverages but thinks they are a nice way to set her business apart.

“I used to take home the menus of the restaurants I loved, so I understand how people just want to be able to remember where they have been,” she said.

Contact Lisa Roberson at 329-7121 or lroberson@chroniclet.com.