Mayor of Kingstown: Is Don’s Diner an Actual Place?

In Paramount+’s crime thriller series ‘Mayor of Kingstown,’ Mike McLusky and his cop allies meet regularly at Don’s Diner. Sitting in one of the booths, Mike has gone through several strategies and made numerous decisions that have affected the fate of Kingstown. The third season premiere depicts another meeting at the diner as the “mayor” and his “soldiers” discuss what’s ahead for them and their town after Bunny decides to hand over the guns he stole. If the ardent admirers of the show are enthusiastic enough, it is not impossible to drop in at the diner in real life and grab a coffee!

The Real Don’s Diner

Don’s Diner is a real eatery located at 1729 Eckert Street in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The diner can be found right under the California Avenue Bridge, also known as Robert McAfee Bridge, which is featured extensively in ‘Mayor of Kingstown.’ The establishment is owned by Marcie Kemmler. The eatery is well known for “Wet Judy,” which is regarded as one of the best sandwiches in Pittsburgh by the regulars. The diner has an extensive history of hosting renowned productions for filming, especially due to the place’s ambiance and location. One of the prominent predecessors of the crime thriller is Gavin O’Connor’s sports action film ‘Warrior,’ starring Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton.

“Nick Nolte and Tom Hardy were so amazing, down to earth,” Kemmler told WPXI about hosting ‘Warrior’ for its shooting. The other projects filmed in Don’s Diner are Netflix’s acclaimed crime drama series ‘Mindhunter,’ FX’s neo-Western series ‘Justified,’ Ewan McGregor’s ‘American Pastoral,’ and Jeff Daniels’ Showtime series ‘American Rust.’ The diner has been a part of Pittsburgh for nearly three decades. However, fans of Mike McLusky may have to visit the place sooner than later if they want to sit in the same booth as the “mayor.” Due to several challenges, Kemmler has been considering closing down the diner.


After the COVID-19 pandemic badly affected the diner’s business, inflation is standing in the way of the eatery’s existence. To save her establishment, Kemmler even started a GoFundMe fundraiser. “Some people are like, ‘Is it true?’ Yes, it’s real and true, and I’ve tried everything I can any other way,” she told WPXI. “I just say take it one day at a time, and if we make it through. It’s a blessing,” she added in October 2023. Kemmler previously was encouraged to host filming in her diner. “It’s really going to help us when people see us on the screen. People will say, ‘Oh, I want to go there. I know where that’s at,’” she told WPXI during the filming of ‘American Rust.’

Hopefully, the third season of ‘Mayor of Kingstown’ will give a boost to Kemmler and her diner crew to keep on running this captivating eatery.

Read More: What is Mike McLusky’s Job in Mayor of Kingstown, Explained