The White Way Grill lands in Lakewood

The White Way Grill is now part of Lakewood's Heritage Center.

The White Way Grill, a classic diner created by Valentine Diners, a Wichita, Kansas-based company that produced "portable steel sandwich shops," is back in business in Lakewood. Sort of.

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The White Way was an Aristocrat model, purchased for $3,300 back in 1948 (Valentine made diners between 1938 and the late '60s) and originally installed at 9842 East Colfax Avenue. It remained the White Way Grill under four consecutive owners until 1970, when the name was changed to White Way Grill Café. By 2002, when it finally closed altogether, it was known as the China Palace.

Through an agreement between Aurora and Lakewood, the diner was saved from demolition and moved to the Lakewood Heritage Center, where the completely restored building was dedicated Saturday as part of that twentieth century park.

Completely restored, except for the menu -- this White Way Grill is not serving. But at least its neon sign is glowing again.

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