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Haven Brothers: A Diner Tradition in Providence

Hot dogs and double cheeseburgers are the favorites on the menu at Haven Brothers.
Alice Winkler, NPR /
/
Hot dogs and double cheeseburgers are the favorites on the menu at Haven Brothers.
A diner peeks out from a window of the shiny, 1930s-era trailer housing the diner.
Alice Winkler, NPR /
/
A diner peeks out from a window of the shiny, 1930s-era trailer housing the diner.

If you get hungry in the wee hours in Providence, R.I., there's one place the locals will send you for sure: Haven Brothers Diner.

Climbing a retractable metal staircase, visitors enter a shiny, stainless-steel truck trailer, built in the 1930s. It holds a counter and eight stools. Every day of the year, the trailer pulls into its own reserved parking space at the foot of Providence City Hall at 4 p.m. By 4 a.m., it's gone.

Behind the counter, serving up shakes and hot dogs -- as many as 1,000 dogs and burgers a night on the weekends -- is Ivan Giusti. He's the son of the owner, Sal Guisti. They're the latest guardians of a tradition that began in 1888 with a horse-drawn lunch wagon.

Anna Coffey Haven named the eatery for her sons, who ran the business. It stayed in the Haven family for several decades. The Guistis took over in the 1980s.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

NPR National Correspondent Debbie Elliott can be heard telling stories from her native South. She covers the latest news and politics, and is attuned to the region's rich culture and history.
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