Eat to the Beat at Peggy Sue’s 50s Diner

I’m always game for a visit to a 50s style diner, and when we went to Calico I knew we had to end our day at the icon of Yermo, Peggy Sue’s 50s Diner.

A giant jukebox welcomes hungry patrons at Peggy Sue’s and when they pass through they enter a chaotic but delightful 50s wonderland with life size statues of icons from the era, walls plastered with pictures of actors and musicians, as 50s tunes dance through the air. Waitresses is turquoise uniforms give you a nod and welcome you to sit where you like before placing a bubblegum pink menu full of classic American staples in your hands.

A massive, colorful arched jukebox frames two double doors that are the entrance to the diner. "50s Diner Peggy Sue's" is above the door. Other text around the door reads "If the Doors are unlocked - we're open! Eat to the Beat. Get in Here. Visit free Diner-saur Park - in back of Diner. Come see our giant Diner-Saurs - enter through Diner"

Myself, seated at a booth inside, reading a bubble gum pink menu reading "Peggy Sue's 50s Diner" scattered on the walls are various icons from the 50s, including Elvis and Marilyn Monroe

"Peggy Sue's" reads across the top of a building, with a large jukebox that is the doorway into the diner.

Large white sign reading "Peggy Sue's" in pale blue script. Below a smaller sign reads "Nifty 50's Diner" in black and orange letters.

Peggy Sue is indeed the owner Peggy Sue’s 50s Diner, and the diner is her and her husband’s love letter to the 50s, especially to 50s Hollywood. Peggy and her husband Champ met while working at Knott’s Berry Farm’s Bird Cage Theatre and she continued with an acting career before becoming a full-time mother. By 1987 they were done with the bustle of the greater Los Angeles area and moved out to the desert, buying the abandoned Country Kitchen, built in 1954 out of railroad ties. Peggy started with her grandmother’s recipes, and things grew from there. The funky menu has a lot of offer, plus there’s a pizza parlor in the back! The original diner featured just nine counter stools and three booths, but today it’s a sprawling maze of nearly 10,000 square feet with walls covered in artwork featuring celebrities of the 50s, photos of Peggy during her time as an actress, and newspaper and magazine articles about the restaurant.

But if you think Peggy Sue’s is just a restaurant, then you’re wrong! Off to one side is the 5 & Dime Gift Shop and Soda Fountain (added in 1995), which features a bejeweled cheeseburger. Adding to the classic roadside vibe, they created the Diner-Saur Park that features ponds and giant dinosaur statues, however it was undergoing some construction during our visit.

"DINER" reads above a doorway in large red letters. A smaller sign below reads "Enter here and mingle with...the Beautiful, the Brilliant, and the Famous."

The opening between the dining room and the kitchen, above which features two signs, one reads "Shake, Rattle, 'n Roll" in blue letters, a smaller sign below reads "If your standards are too high for this establishment lower your standards."

Pink linoleum features script reading "Peggy Sue's" in black with several music notes around.

Long hallway at Peggy Sue's featuring a near life size statue of James Dean, and lots of framed photos and articles about the diner. Other artwork on the wall features Dean and Marilyn Monroe.

A painting of Marilyn Monroe.

Painted on the wall reads "Eat to the Beat"

A large lighted sign looks like a jukebox, and reads "Coors" in red script at the top. A fireplace sits to the left. Framed photos of Elvis sit between the fireplace and jukebox light.

In a doorway plexiglass covers exposed railroad ties. To the left a handwritten sign reads "Original Railroad Ties and Cement Mortar - Peggy Sue's Diner was built in the 1950s out of these railroad ties and cement mortar throughout the entire diner."

A purple and white checkered floor gives way to linoleum in the shape of a record.

Close-up of a jukebox which features image of dancers and musicians.

An almost life size sculpture of Elvis stands in front of a pink wall. On the wall are framed photos of Peggy Sue's days on the stage.

Sitting on a counter top in a case is a large bejeweled cheeseburger. A sign to the left reads "Here it is...the only jeweled cheeseburger in Yermo, CA" A mannequin in a soda jerk costume stands behind the counter.

45 RPM records hang on a wall to spell "Peggy Sue's"

Above the exit reads "See ya later Alligator" in white script with an alligator painted to the right.

Painted on the exterior is a large mural of various dinosaurs. Script reads "Welcome to Peggy Sue's Diner-Saur Park"

The large sign near the freeway advertising the diner, a large yellow arrow reads "Peggy Sue's" in black letters. The large black sign below reads "Peggy Sue's 50s Diner" in white letters.

A large concrete jukebox frames the door to the diner. In the arch reads "Peggy Sue's DIner"

Peggy Sue’s is a delightfully kitschy, gaudy and rose-tinted homage to the 50s with a spectacular roadside tourist trap vibe as well, all of which I am here for. Whether you’re visiting Calico or en route to or from Vegas, Peggy Sue’s is worth the stop.

Do “the Stroll” over to Peggy Sue’s 50s Diner at 35654 Yermo Road in Yermo.

What’s Near By?

Abandoned Jenny Rose Restaurant

Abandoned Rock-a-Hoola Waterpark

Calico Ghost Town

De La Cruz, Rene Ray. “‘This is Champ’s legacy’: Co-owner of Peggy Sue’s ’50s Diner in Yermo has died.” Victorville Daily Press, 7 October 2020. Accessed 8 April 2022.
Menu on site.

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