John's City Diner

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This article is about the current restaurant on 21st Street. For its precursor, see John's Restaurant.
John's City Diner logo.png

John's City Diner is a downtown restaurant opened in 2004 by Shannon and Shana Gober at 112 Richard Arrington Jr Boulevard North.

The roots of the business date back to John's Restaurant, which was opened in 1944 by John Proferis and moved to 112 21st Street North in 1978 under the leadership of Proferis' nephew Phil Hontzas. It was sold to the Gobers by Phil's nephews Tom and Pete on March 22, 2004.

The Gobers updated the menu and renovated the interior, changing the name to "John's City Diner". They later opened a second location at 1483 Gadsden Highway in Trussville, but that location has since closed.

In June 2014 the Birmingham Design Review Committee approved the design for a painted wall mural on the south side of the downtown restaurant featuring the skyline from the John's City Diner logo and the slogan "It's Nice to Have You in Birmingham". Gober also replaced the canopy, renovated the exterior neon sign, freshened the interior decor and upgraded some of the utilities.


  • Guster, Chanda Temple (December 26, 2007) "New owner of Birmingham landmark restaurant kept beloved bread on revamped menu." The Birmingham News
  • Evans, Amy (March 11, 2004) Interview with Zoë Cassimus. Greeks in Birmingham oral history project. Southern Foodways Alliance
  • Walsh, Jan (May 2010) "Downtown Landmark: From Ambience to cuisine, John's City Diner is familiar and comforting." Birmingham magazine. Vol. 50, No. 5, p. 53
  • Tomberlin, Michael (June 25, 2014) "John's City Diner mural, Jimmy John's downtown among Birmingham Design Review actions." The Birmingham News
  • Jacoby, Kathryn (September 9, 2014) "Birmingham's John's City Diner steps up its game and embraces history with $225,000 of renovations." The Birmingham News

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