BOYERTOWN — The line of people waiting to get inside Fegley’s Diner for pie and coffee on Saturday morning was lengthy.
However, people were not waiting outside a free-standing building — they were queuing up inside the Boyertown Museum of Historic Vehicles, where the diner is now housed.
Fegley’s spent more than five decades at the corner of Perkiomen Avenue and W. 47th Street in Exeter until it closed in 2003. Less than a decade later, the entire building was moved inside the museum and restored.
The diner opened in 1938 and was known for serving some of the best pie in the area.
During the second Diner Day on Saturday, the museum celebrated the history of the diner by serving pie and coffee at 1938 prices.
“Coffee was five cents a cup and pie was 25 cents a slice,” said Kendra Cook, the curator of the museum. “We chose (to sell things) at 1938 prices because that was the year of the diner.”
The aisle separating the counter and the booths is only wide enough to fit one person at a time. When the booths were full, customers sat shoulder to shoulder at the counter on the chrome stools with red vinyl cushions.
When two round tables outside the diner remained empty, it was obvious neither the line outside nor the close quarters inside were going to stop customers from getting a chance to experience Fegley’s Diner as it was when it opened.
And for Ronald Seltmann, sitting in Fegley’s was like coming home.
“I was mesmerized when I saw this,” he said about seeing the diner restored inside the museum. “It has a special meaning for me.”
Seltmann, now a resident of Lower Pottsgrove, was a Reading Police Officer from 1975 until 1995 and would come to the diner once a week after he finished his shift.
“I really like apple pie,” he said. “We were steady customers. We used to eat there a lot.” His wife Sandy, said there were several waitresses who knew them by name.
During his 20 years as a police officer Seltmann worked in several different departments including vice, tactical response, and fugitive recovery.
Before the diner closed, Seltmann said he brought his grandchildren to eat there.
After grabbing a few cups of coffee from heavy white ceramic mugs and a slice of pie, Seltmann said being at the diner was like having deja vu.
“It brought me back when I was a policeman,” he said.
Bob Hobaugh, of Kutztown, was visiting Fegley’s for the first time.
“It is an opportunity to sit in Fegley’s Diner and it was such an important part of Exeter Township for so many years,” he said.
Although Hobaugh did not grow up in Exeter, he said the memories of his friends coming with their wives and loved ones made him was to see the diner.
“I understand that if you came here to eat, you had to order your pie before your meal so there would be some when you were done with your meal,” he said.
And pie was flying out of the pans Saturday.
The diner was serving popular choices like apple, cherry and shoo fly pie but they also had lemon sponge and raisin.
Whether or not customers were revisiting or coming for the first time, a sense of nostalgia and appreciate for decades passed was obvious.
And capturing that idea of remembrance was important for Cook.
“It has such a local importance and so many people remember it,” she said.
Cook said the diner was a great example of the emergence of a new driving culture.
“It is an example of one of those industries that popped up because of the car,” she said. “As people started to drive, people are able to travel longer distances in a day. They are going to expect things like food available.”
The first diner day was in November of last year and Cook said the huge crowd made hosting another one an easy decision. Cook said the museum hopes to host at least three events a year, but did not have another scheduled yet.