Documentary tells story of Haven Bros. diner in Providence

Haven Bros. Diner in Providence

It says 1888 on the side of the Haven Brothers truck, the diner famous for its "Murder burgers", hot dogs and fries.

But it was really 1893 when Anne Haven, a widower who used the insurance money from her husband's untimely death the year before, became the first woman to own and operate what was to become the oldest continually operating diner on wheels.

When asked about the discrepancy, the owners said, "What's a few years?"

"Diners were all originally on wheels. And over the years is when they lost the wheels, got on foundations, and became more stationary," said Jeff Toste, who has created a long-form documentary about the Haven Brothers diner.

"People are wondering where the food trucks began, this is where they began, and the very first ones were here in Providence," Toste said.

The movie was made with a $5,000 grant, donations and credit.

If the Haven Brothers truck was in a fixed position outside City Hall at Dorrance and Fulton Streets, it wouldn't be the oldest operating diner on wheels.

Every afternoon, like clockwork, it's moved from its parking space, not far from downtown, ready for its nightly ritual.

"It's been the spot for as long as people can remember," Toste said.

There are many stories woven together in the film, from the 1986 push to have the icon removed from downtown to the history and the characters.

"I really tried to whittle down the best of the best and make that the finished product," Toste said.

The local premiere of "Haven Brothers: Legacy of the American Diner" is set for 7 p.m. June 7 at the Columbus Theatre on Broadway in Providence.