Neil Andersen and Michael Giberson moved from Boston to Gardiner, Maine in 1986 to buy the A1 Diner (formerly Giberson’s Diner) from Michael’s dad, Albert . The A1, a classic Worcester diner, has been in continuous operation since 1946. Perched on iron stilts 20 feet above the Cobbosseecontee Stream in downtown Gardiner, the Semi-Streamliner style diner is where retro meets bistro. Michael and Neil have turned the A1 into a local destination known for its homemade food, varied menu and classic diner vibe . They have been honored to be included in many Best Diner lists – including Yankee Magazine, Food & Wine, Travel + Leisure, and DownEast Magazine. Follow them on Facebook for updates and to see what’s cooking!
Where are you from and why do you love it?
We live in Gardiner, Maine where our business, the A1 Diner is located. I love living here for its location on the beautiful Kennebec river. I couldn’t imagine living somewhere where I wasn’t close to water. I also love Gardiner’s proximity to all the wonderful things Maine has to offer. We are less than 1 hour from Portland and the coast.
Wicked Joe coffee roasters in Brunswick created a signature blend for us at the A1 called A 1 Dynamite; we serve it and sell 1-pound bags of the beans. It’s my daily go-to coffee. If I want something darker I drink Jet from Rock City Coffee in Rockland.
Favorite spot for a cocktail?
Vintage Wine Bar in downtown Gardiner is a sweet little spot with a great selection of wine by the glass or the bottle.
Date night destination?
Well of course I would suggest the A1 Diner ! Fun and Funky with homemade food, set in a classic 1946 Worcester Diner. How could you go wrong ? When we do want to get away from work we head to either Fore Street in Portland or Primo in Rockland.
Favorite find in the neighborhood?
I would have to say Monkitree in downtown Gardiner. The owner Clare runs a wonderful shop filled with locally made art, crafts and lots of other great things you didn’t realize you wanted. It’s my go-to spot for gift giving or when I want something beautiful and hand crafted for our home.
Outdoor space to enjoy in the sun?
Without a doubt it would be the recently revitalized waterfront park here in Gardiner. The city did an amazing job turning a dirt parking lot into a vibrant waterfront community space!
Best kept neighborhood secret?
The beautiful walking path that runs along the river from the waterfront parking lot. Lots of tiny little beaches are created when the tide is low.