Local Diner's Coppell, Irving restaurants flash back to '50s-era aesthetic

Local Diner's Irving location features a 1950s inspired exterior. It is one of two locations. (Gavin Pugh/Community Impact Newspaper)
Local Diner's Irving location features a 1950s inspired exterior. It is one of two locations. (Gavin Pugh/Community Impact Newspaper)

Local Diner's Irving location features a 1950s inspired exterior. It is one of two locations. (Gavin Pugh/Community Impact Newspaper)

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Restaurant owner Frank Brightwell has operated Local Diner since 1989, and now has locations in Coppell and Irving. (Gavin Pugh/Community Impact Newspaper)
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The patty melt ($9.29) comes served with the customer's choice of side, such as macaroni and cheese, soup, french fries and more. (Gavin Pugh/Community Impact Newspaper)
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The grilled chicken salad ($9.79) is just one of Local Diner's salad options. Others include a crispy chicken salad, a taco salad and a chicken salad "lite bite." (Gavin Pugh/Community Impact Newspaper)
Local Diner owner Frank Brightwell found his restaurant market niche by serving comfort food in a ’50s-style setting.

“I like the simplicity of just good ol’ comfort food,” Brightwell said. “When you set up a diner, it’s a diner for life. You don’t have to change with trends.”

Brightwell first opened Local Diner in 1989 and now operates out of two locations: one in Old Town Coppell at 477 W. Bethel Road and another at 8305 N. Belt Line Road, Irving.

Customers will find at both locations portraits of midcentury icons such as Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe, while the bar seating and tabletops evoke a ’50s aesthetic.

Before building the newest location in the Old Town area, Local Diner’s Coppell location was previously at the intersection of Denton Tap and Sandy Lake roads.

“We were there 20-something years, and it was just getting old and tired,” Brightwell said. “We were the first ones down [in Old Town] and enjoyed it.”

Brightwell said he has chosen to keep his menu simple after operating Local Diner for the past three decades.

“There are ... upscale diners that’ll do ... lamb chops and stuff like that,” Brightwell said. “We want to be true to the fact that we are Local Diner.”

That looks like closing the doors at 2:30 p.m. every day and offering only breakfast, lunch and brunch menus.

“Years ago, we decided that that’s the quality of life [we wanted],” he said. “We weren’t ... greedy enough ... to sit there and say, ‘Boy, we’ll just take that extra money.’”

Brightwell said he does not have any plans to open any other restaurants in the future.

“We’ve had as many as five [restaurants],” he said. “This is comfortable for us to manage and provides a good income. I’ll be 70 in a couple of months, so I’m thinking this is it. ... I love the two stores.”

Local Diner


8305 N. Belt Line Road, Irving



Hours: 6:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. daily


477 W. Bethel Road, Coppell



Hours: 6:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. daily
By Gavin Pugh

After reporting for Community Impact Newspaper's Plano paper for over two years, Gavin launched the Coppell, Valley Ranch and Las Colinas edition in October 2019. As editor, Gavin's beat includes transportation, municipal government, education and Dallas Area Rapid Transit.


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