I really love it when you unexpectedly find fantastic places, but last time I posted about one of my hidden gems it proved unexpectedly controversial and resulted in me having to close the comments on the post.

This time round I discovered Bobby Jo’s 50s Diner on a trip to Southend on Sea. Hopefully it won’t be as controversial as last time!

We took a trip to Southend to pick up some 78’s we bought on eBay, and since we were there we thought we’d have a bit of a wander along the sea front. I’m a MASSIVE fan of seaside tat and I have been known to spend hours feeding 2ps into a machine in order to liberate a plastic model of a bear or some such nonsense. Southend, however, wasn’t really grabbing me, maybe it was that end of Summer feeling but it seemed a bit *too* down market, and, by the time I reached the end of the esplanade I felt pretty dispirited that my planned fun afternoon of seaside tat had failed me.

Then, idly looking in a window, my eye was caught by a gorgeous turquoise and pale pink colour scheme. Then I noticed the massive juke box and instantly decided we had to go in.

Bobby Jo's 50s Diner Southend

Bobby Jo’s has been open for just 7 months but has already been used as a filming location and has a busy and popular Facebook page. The diner is refreshingly different from a lot of 50s diners, the seats aren’t red, there aren’t any number plates on the walls and the waiting staff wear uniforms based on original 50s diner uniforms, not bobby socks and crinolines (not really practical for waiting on tables, crinolines!)

Honestly, I wasn’t really hungry, but I ordered an Oreo Cookie Milkshake and a hot dog anyway, and also ate the whole lot. Partly because it was delicious, but mostly because I’m a pig.

American Diner MilkshakeI really love the pale pink and turquoise colour scheme, which looks so adorably 50s against the black and white floor and chrome accessories. The booths around the walls of the restaurant are named after 50s stars and appeared to have little signs with information about the stars on the back (though the booths were occupied so I couldn’t check!) the old favourites, Elvis and Marilyn were present, but also Rock Hudson, Liz Taylor and Tony Curtis.

Bobby Jo's 50s Diner

Whilst I was stuffing my face with hot dog restaurant owner Jo pounced on me and asked me where I got my cardigan, which I was grateful for as I’m shy and might not have had the courage to talk to her otherwise! Apart from having great hair she was also really enthused about the diner and it’s decor. The diner has been a life long dream for the pair who are really involved in the Rock and Roll scene. I love it when I meet people who are living their dream and I found Tony and Jo really inspirational. I heard at least 3 other sets of customers asking about the diner while I was in there and they stopped and chatted enthusiastically with everyone. I can be a bit of a grumpy moo sometimes and I admire anyone who can keep up that energy, if they’ve done it for 7 months then I’m sure they can do it for 7 years.

jO 50S dINER

Honestly, finding Bobby Jo’s completely made my day, and Southend on Sea took on a slightly more appealing lustre after lunch. I even managed to find the motivation to waste some money on tacky slot machines.

If you’re in Southend, for whatever reason, I really suggest popping along to Bobby Jo’s for lunch. If you know of anything else good to do in Southend then let me know, I’d love an excuse to go back!

Bobby Jo's can be found at 11/12 Eastern Esplanade, Southend on Sea (opposite Sea Life Centre car park)
Phone: 01702 616099
Or visit their website or Facebook page