Nearly 30 years ago, the Griffin Train Depot was moved from its original site, next to the train tracks that cut through the village’s southern end, to it’s current location, which is the first building on the right if one takes the Griffin, Indiana exit from Interstate 64.
The village of Griffin has an intriguing history, which makes it worth getting acquainted with. And, a great way to get acquainted is by stopping in for a meal at the only restaurant in the village, the Depot Diner.
It’s locally owned and operated, and a favorite spot for both locals and tourists. Many folks who are from the area, are willing to spend some time travelling to meet up with other friends and relatives there for a meal and a good visit. The atmosphere is warm and friendly, and it’s an easy place to relax and fit in. It is not uncommon to see people wearing suits and shiny shoes, bent over a laptop, while sipping coffee and participating in a video-conference call, while across the aisle sit folks in flannel shirts, jeans and dirty mud-boots and drinking sweet tea from super-sized Mason canning jars. As long as you’re wearing shoes, a shirt, you’ll fit right in!
The menu is traditional southern-Indiana fare, and is often supplied locally. Special meals and events are announced via word-of-mouth, and their facebook fan page. You can count on the turnout being sizable and lively whether it’s for a chowder dinner, cooked in a big kettle over and open fire, or a massive fish-fry! If you have opportunity to attend one, be prepared to make new friends, and leave feeling full!
The restaurant is owned by a local couple, Tom and Shirley Simmons. It’s operated by their daughters, Michelle and Angie, as well as a few staff members. Shirley also jumps in to lend a hand when needed, and Tom often cooks for the larger events, which is always a treat.
Tom served in the United States Marines and is a Vietnam War veteran. He’s semi-retired and works seasonally as a popular guide for local hunting and fishing. He’s also a dedicated volunteer to local veterans groups, assisting in various events and tasks as well as support groups, helping veterans returning from duty with post traumatic stress disorder and other challenges.
Shirley is retired from many years spent in the healthcare industries and now spends a good bit of her time helping their daughters with the restaurant business.
The Depot Diner is one of the my favorite places to go to for a meal out, or even for a snack with a fresh cup of coffee to enjoy in good company. Many of my friends and relatives enjoy it as much as I do, and it’s a favorite place for many of us to meet and spend time together.
It’s open 7-days a week, for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with holidays being the exception.