A Diamond Grill Flashback

A former McClain student, Art Clyburn, was digging around in the archives of this site and came across a piece about the history of bars and taverns that once populated Greenfield. One establishment you may remember was the Diamond Grill on Jefferson St. While I know little of the Diamond’s history I do recall hearing stories about how class a place it was when it opened. By the 1950s and 60s it had lost much of its glow and was pretty much a working man’s bar complete with the occasional knock down and drag out bar brawl.

In late 1964 the bar was owned by Ralph and Phyllis Stewart and I tended bar for them in October and November of that year. The going wage was $1 an hour plus all the late-night bad mouthing you could stand. Quite an experience, one that convinced me Jackie Gleason’s Joe the Bartender was not the life for me. 

After reading about Greenfield’s bars, Art related that he had once been in a German Village (Columbus) tavern called Deibel’s and took notice of the attractive back bar. Asking the barkeep about it he was told it came from a small town named Greenfield which was south of Washington Court House. A bar called the Diamond Grill had gone out of business and the owner of Deibel’s had purchased the back bar for his place.

Once hearing this I decided a field trip may be in order so I Googled Deibel’s and discovered it went out of business many years ago and became the Spanish restaurant many of you know as Barcelona. Ironically I’ve been to Barcelona on at least three occasions and on each sat at that very bar sipping on a Belhaven’s while waiting to be seated. I could have sit there a dozen more times and still not recognized the bar I had spent two months of my life standing in front of.

I did find a photo of the back bar in its current location so take a close look. It may bring back a memory or two. One memory for me is of an old gentleman who had served in WWI who came in every evening around 10 p.m. and ordered a double shot of J.T.S. Brown Kentucky Bourbon off the top shelf. As he nursed his night-time toddy I listened to stories about the war and his life. It was my favorite part of every day I worked there.

Dark columns of the old Diamond Grill back bar. Still in use at today's Barcelona.

10 thoughts on “A Diamond Grill Flashback”

  1. Jim Stewart and I would go to the Diamond for lunch occasionally when Phyllis and Ralph owned it. The sandwiches were very good and the chili was like Tiny’s. And, it was free to us.

  2. Spent a lot of time in that place as a child with my father and grandfather. Ate a lot of cheeseburgers in there lol. Got some good memories of The Diamond Grill.

  3. Only ever in the Diamond once, with Larry Chapman to hear a blue grass band. I’ve been in the Barcelona several times. Never knew there was a piece of old Greenfield in the bar room.

  4. My dad the senior Bill Jackman owned the Diamond for some of it’s last years. My brother John and his wife Joyce Jackman ran the place for him. It was a dive, catering to the loudest, drunks and brawlers in these parts. But it was fun too and if you could steer clear of the arguments you could leave at closing time and see some of the fine upstanding citizens of Greenfield sitting in their cars watching the drunks. Did you know that used to be a pastime? Parking uptown on Sat night to see who was out, who was fighting and who was leaving with who. Small town USA.
    Dad sold it to Bill Fillmore and he defaulted as a matter of fact the amount still owed came off the top of his estate. NO big deal no hard feelings just a head shake at his poor investment. He once invested a great deal of money in a Ohio oil well. We called it North Fork as opposed to Dallas’s South Fork and was no success.

  5. I was a kid in the Diamond’s hayday, but my best memory was when I would spend the night with my grandma and grandpa Cottrell, he would get up before daylight every morning and go to the Diamond for coffee, me being a little girl he didn’t particularly like taking me in there but if I was awake when he left he didn’t have the heart to tell me no, so I had to spend the biggest portion of my night lying there awake waiting for him to get up so I could go with him. My family being Beatty’s, Cottrell’s, and Howland’s you can bet most of the bar fights and brawls at least one or more of them was involved in…HaHaHa!

  6. Larry, my grandfather and grandmother(George and Bessy Byrd) use to clean the Diamond Grill after saturday night back is the 1940’s. They would take me and connie with them and they would make us the best ham sandwiches!!!
    Dont know but maybe in your travels, you might find out if Kib Roberts ever owned the Diamond Grill????.

  7. i had been to the diamond grill only a couple times. when i grew up it was known as a knock down drag out place. when i went to deibels i instantly got cold chills as something was familar but did not know what it was, having never been there. it was a nice place to be on a hot afternoon waiting for the oktoberfest activities.

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