Breathing life back into the Oasis Diner

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PLAINFIELD, Ind. -- Walking into the Oasis Diner in Plainfield is like stepping back in time.

The diner’s serving up great food with a side of history, and Indiana’s very own Doug Huff is the current owner.

But he’s certainly not the first.

“The diner was manufactured in New Jersey and shipped here via railroad in 1954,” Huff said. “And it had about four different owners between 1954 and 2008.”

It sat empty from 2008 to 2010 until Huff got involved.

“I have a construction company and I was looking to diversify, find a new business and the diner project came up and it looked like a good fit for my background and what I was wanting to do.”

In 2010 Indiana Landmarks listed the diner on its ten most endangered Indiana buildings list. The town of Plainfield wanted to save it and move it roughly four miles to the town center.

“With my construction background I knew that the diner was built to be moved,” Huff said.

Getting it done wasn't an easy process for Huff and his wife.

“We talked about it a lot, prayed about it a lot and doors just kept opening. And I thought along the way if this isn't going to work then a door will shut and we’ll know for sure. But things just kept working themselves out.”

The diner was relocated in August 2014. It opened that November.

“It was very busy when we first opened. There was a lot of anticipation for the diner to be moved. We’re very visible here so people here know what’s going on.”

Huff is proud of the diner’s place in history.

“A diner has always been kind of a central part to a community. It’s kind of the heart of the community. It’s just been nice to preserve that piece of Plainfield history,” Huff said.

“People have a lot of fond memories of the diner and they just feel connected to it and we want to continue to let people know that this is their diner. And we want them to feel they have part ownership in it and when they come here that they’re home.”

Huff has plans to create a meeting space in the basement that will be decked out with vintage memorabilia. As for the food, USA Today voted the Oasis Diner's tenderloin one of the ten best in Indiana.

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