The Official Website of the State of West Virginia

Those who journey to this remote West Virginia diner are rewarded with adventure — and pie


GAINES – License plates from scores of states line the walls of the Gaines Diner.

If you ask the establishment’s longtime owner, Janice Chidester, she’ll tell you most of them are authentic souvenirs restaurant patrons gifted to her from their home states over the years.

“A few of them are just for decoration,” Chidester says, as she wipes her hands on her apron and slides into a dining room chair for a brief moment of respite, “but most of them are ones people have brought me over the years from where they live.”

The Alaska license plate stands out, representing the farthest state from which people have traveled to reach Chidester’s cozy, picturesque diner, tucked inconspicuously into the southwestern corner of Upshur County in north-central West Virginia.

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