Home News Exeter Welcomes Jukebox Diner: A 1950s-Inspired Food Experience on Wheels

Exeter Welcomes Jukebox Diner: A 1950s-Inspired Food Experience on Wheels

by Celia

EXETER — After the success of Donut Love, the entrepreneurial duo Mike and Stephanie Oliveira are embarking on a new venture that brings a taste of nostalgia to the Seacoast. Introducing the Jukebox Diner, a 1950s-style diner on wheels that will soon be parked next to the bandstand in downtown Exeter. The vibrant diner will serve up classic favorites like burgers, fries, grilled cheese sandwiches, milkshakes, and soda floats.

The Oliveiras, who sold Donut Love and Comfort Baking Company in 2022, took time off to focus on their family and explore new ideas. Their love for all things 1950s inspired them to create the Jukebox Diner, a mobile eatery that captures the essence of a bygone era.

Come mid-April, Exeter locals and visitors can indulge in the Jukebox Diner experience from Monday to Saturday. Lunch will be served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., followed by dinner from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Mike Oliveira, drawing from his previous success with Donut Love, is thrilled to embark on this new food business venture.

“This time, it feels really good,” Oliveira shared. “It feels like it’s on my terms.”

The Oliveiras have been involved in the food industry since 2017 when Mike Oliveira left his job as a Stratham police officer to pursue a new career. They established Donut Love in honor of Mike Oliveira’s mother, who raised him nearby. The business quickly flourished, leading them to open two more stores in Exeter — a second Donut Love downtown and Comfort Baking Company on Route 33. In 2022, they made the decision to sell the businesses, citing the need to focus on family.

Stephanie Oliveira expressed her thoughts in a Facebook post, stating, “It was much needed for us to reset, re-calibrate, soul search, and dream again. We were able to focus on our family, mental health, and marriage in ways that just weren’t doable while running three brick-and-mortar shops.”

After taking time to regroup and reflect, the Oliveiras found inspiration in their shared love for the classic diners of the 1950s. Mike Oliveira has always been captivated by the ambiance of these diners, from the enchanting neon lighting to the period-appropriate staff attire.

“It’s more of an experience,” he explained.

Seeking a business model that could better accommodate their family, the Oliveiras decided that a food truck would be an ideal option. The Jukebox Diner, designed to resemble a retro diner, will operate on a walk-up basis, serving customers through a window. The menu will feature delicious soda floats, including Coca-Cola, root beer, and orange cream. To complete the immersive experience, music from the 1950s will serenade diners, further enhancing the nostalgic atmosphere.

“We love that era,” Mike Oliveira shared. “We kind of joke all the time, we should have been born during those times.”

The Oliveiras expressed their excitement about returning to Exeter, mentioning their positive experiences with the town and the warm reception they have received. The Jukebox Diner is not only a testament to their passion for the 1950s but also a celebration of their marriage. While Donut Love honored Mike Oliveira’s mother’s dream for the family to run a business together, the Jukebox Diner is a joint endeavor that reflects the shared vision of Mike and Stephanie Oliveira.

“The DL project was awesome, a great opportunity for me to kind of live out my mom’s thing,” Mike Oliveira explained. “This is Steph’s and I’s thing.”

With the Jukebox Diner on the horizon, Exeter can anticipate a delightful addition to its downtown food scene. The Oliveiras’ commitment to quality and their passion for creating immersive experiences in the 1950s style are sure to make the Jukebox Diner a popular destination for locals and visitors alike.

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