Undercurrent Of Inequality And Fear Roiling Just Beneath Surface Of '50s-Themed Diner

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Undercurrent Of Inequality And Fear Roiling Just Beneath Surface Of '50s-Themed Diner

MINNEAPOLIS—An underlying but eerily palpable feeling of enforced social conformity, racial tension, and communist witch hunts lurks just beneath the surface of Smokey Joe's, a 1950s-themed novelty diner, sources reported Monday. "This place is like a great nostalgic time capsule," said customer Brad Handley, 61, describing the roller-skating waitresses, old-fashioned jukebox, and sense of overwhelming nuclear paranoia inherent in the family-style eatery. "It's just a fun place to grab a cheeseburger and listen to some Elvis hits." Handley's wife Janice told reporters she also enjoyed the restaurant's atmosphere, which evokes a simpler time in America when Phil Silvers was on television, women were systematically oppressed at home and in the workplace, and sock hops were all the rage.