It all started with an Easy Bake Oven Scott received for Christmas in 1970, despite the objections of his dad! He started "helping" in his aunt's restaurant which fueled his love of the food business and set the direction for the next 39 years of his life.

Scott attended Culinary Arts School in Quincy MA and at the age of 16 became the weekend manager/cook of a little diner in North Quincy, MA (which is still open today). In 1991, Scott and Kim bought our first restaurant in California. This restaurant grew into a successful chain of diners. We owned and operated these diners for 17 years while raising our four children and becoming very active community members.

In 2003, we decided to relocate to upstate New York, opting for a quieter and simpler lifestyle. We quietly determined that we were never going to do another restaurant. Every time we drove through Herkimer, the Empire Diner was under new management/new ownership, but the diner always stayed in its sad state of disrepair. Finally, when the Empire Diner became available for purchase in 2006, we knew it was calling our name. Scott immediately went to work doing what he does best and the results are evident. His first step was to completely gut the kitchen and start all over. Please take a moment to look around the walls and see some of Herkimer's history including this famous old diner.

Scott has become a Certified ServSafe Instructor and Registered ServSafe Proctor for the National Restaurant Association. This prestigious designation allows Scott to teach food safety, proper food handling and sanitary practices and to administer the extensive ServSafe examination. Further, Scott has long been sought as a consultant/mentor for his vast restaurant knowledge and expertise. Now we are pleased to offer these services to others. He is now also a published author and writes a food column entitled "Cooking Class." Check out our other website at

Scott and Kim (and their crews) broke the World Record Omelet twice while still in California, in 1993 and in 2002. On July 10, 2010, we did it AGAIN right here in Herkimer and became a three time world record holder. We created the World's Largest Omelet Pool Table an astonishing 2,2128.75 square feet in the street right in front of the diner. It was an exciting event with lots of community support and participation. Photos are on display all over the diner.


Thanks for visiting our site!

Wow. We're so honored and thank you for voting us Readers' Choice Best Upstate New York Diner. Best Atmosphere. Best Bacon. Best Hollandaise. Best Pie Crust. We're so honored and beyond excited!

In 2013, we were voted Best Burger for our Bacon Cheeseburger and in 2012 Best Burger for our Cheeseburger in the New York State Best Burger contest on behalf of Region 4.
We have two winning burgers!

Your host, Scott Tranter, offers some cooking tips and quick tips at

We really appreciate when our customers take the time to leave us a review. Lets us know how happy folks are and what we can do to improve. Thanks so much!

We open daily at 5:00 a.m. We close at 4:00 p.m. Sunday through Tuesday and stay open until 9:00 p.m. on Wednesday Thursday Friday and Saturday nights.

Be sure to stop in and see the Diner Wizard! He is a restaurant consultant and available to help you get your restaurant operating efficiently. He has written 8 cookbooks which are available in the diner, on his website ( as well as and
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