“My mom's favorite South Side memory was going to Isaly's with her sister. Tom's Diner is where Isaly's once was. Her story helped me understand how special South Side is to her….I learned that times have changed. Someday I will have a child and when I look back I'm sure things will have changed like it did for my mom. I also learned how important it is to learn and to talk to people about things that happened in the past. It is a part of life that will never change.” —student quote
- Formerly, Tom's Diner
1713-15 East Carson Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15203
- Date and Style
- This property consists of two historic buildings:
- —1713 East Carson Street was built around 1900 in the Colonial Revival Style.
- —1715 East Carson Street was built earlier, around 1882, and was enlarged and altered in 1890 and 1901 with Classical details.
- Facade improvements funded through the Urban Redevelopment Authority's Streetface Program
- Facts and Stories Worth Knowing
- According to a history prepared by Carol J. Peterson, “Louis Kemler, a Pittsburgh fireman, commissioned construction of the original section of 1715 East Carson Street in 1882. The original section of the building was constructed at a cost of $1,000, on a lot that Kemler had purchased for $3,000 earlier the same year. The building was enlarged and altered in 1890, for $1,800, and in 1901, for $1,500. …Kemler's first tenant was probably Samuel Beck, who operated a boot and shoe store…in 1883 and 1884.
- The building was later used as a dry goods store (in the late 1890s and early 1900s) and as a house furnishings and hardware store (between 1904 and 1910).
- “In 1915,” continues Peterson, “William J. Bernardi began operation of one of the South Side's earliest motion picture theatres at 1715 East Carson Street. Bernardi's unnamed theatre was succeeded in 1916 by the Royal Theater, owned by William F. Boehmer. Boehmer and other proprietors operated the Royal Theater…through 1921. The theatre was again known as the Novelty Theater in 1922, its last year of operation.”
- Isaly's--famous for chipped ham, Klondikes, and dairy products--occupied 1715 East Carson Street from 1932 into the 1980s, followed by a pizza shop and the South Shore Diner.
- 1713 East Carson housed Ed’s Motor Parts in the 1980s.
- Tom's Diner opened in 1998, and occupied 1713 East Carson Street. Customers to the diner included players on the Pittsburgh Pirates and Pittsburgh Steelers. Actor Robert Downing, Jr. has visited Tom's Diner, and a scene from the Hollywood movie“10th & Wolf” was filmed there.
- In 2010, the S Bar opened in place of Tom’s Diner to provide South Side residents with a “quaint lounge and upscale nightclub atmosphere”, as written on their Myspace page.