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Ottawa Editorial Interior – Zellers Family Diner for Ottawa Magazine

In Print - Zellers Family Diner for Ottawa Magazine

Ottawa Magazine brought me on to photograph the Zellers Family Diner or, at least, what was left of it. Zellers (a Canadian national retail chain) has had some turbulent times lately, and it’s final resting place seems to be a corporate takeover by U.S. big-box retailer Target. But, as you can see, not much has changed in the family cafeteria over the past 50-or-so years. While vintage seems to be taking over a lot of new restaurants, this is the real-deal, and it won’t be around for long (in fact, at the time of this writing I’m pretty sure it’s gone).

You can even see by the outside that the retail chain has treated it as an after-thought. Broken neon signage, store clearance areas pushed right up to the threshold. But inside was a different story. The patrons all had a familiar feel to the place, they seemed to belong there – regular customers. One man was quite irate that I was taking photographs (even though the exposures would mean he’d be rendered nigh-invisible) while some lovely ladies at right were giddy and flirtatious. This was their comfort zone, their safe-place, and that’s been taken away. As a guy who enjoys being a regular at a bar or restaurant I know the feeling. It’s hard to switch gears, to have something you like taken away – what choice are you left with when all your memories are built over? When there’s nowhere comfortable to grab some scrambled eggs and coffee? Change is hard, and not always for the better of the people it affects.

You can read the full Ottawa Magazine article here. You can also see the title image larger on Flickr.

One thought on “Ottawa Editorial Interior – Zellers Family Diner for Ottawa Magazine

  1. Erin Wilson says:

    Wow! The Zellers restaurant in my town NEVER looked this cool! Wonderful shades of blue in there.