Located at 137 West North Bend Way, the original diner, Thompson's Cafe, opened its doors to the public in 1941. In the mid-nineteen fifties the diner changed ownership and a large neon sign was erected out front bearing its new name, the Mar-T-Cafe. Below, an original business card from the Mar-T bearing the name of its owner, Pat Cokewell.

In 1989, t
he Mar-T was used, to great effect, as the Double R Diner in David Lynch's new television series, Twin Peaks.
Below, a production still showing M├Ądchen Amick and Dana Ashbrook listening intently as Lynch directs them in an early scene from the pilot filmed in the Mar-T Cafe's parking lot.

After the pilot was shot in Washington State, sets were built on a soundstage in Los Angeles to mimic the look and feel of the Mar-T Cafe. These sets were used for the rest of the series. You'll notice that the diner set is somewhat larger than the original location and much brighter as it was powerfully lit by studio lights. Again, I prefer the darker, grittier feel of the original location.

The Twin Peaks crew descended upon the town of North Bend and the Mar-T Cafe once again in the summer of 1991 to shoot scenes for the film Twin Peaks:Fire Walk With Me, shown below.

Sometime around '98-'99, the cafe changed hands yet again to become Twede's Cafe. Unluckily for the new owners, and for fans of the show, a fire in 2000 set the scene for a devastating renovation in which the entire interior was gutted and redone. The still from Fire Walk With Me seen above is what the diner looked like before the fire. Below, you'll see a recent photo of the interior. Sadly, the cafe no longer retains that same rich sense of warmth and small town authenticity that was so present in the show. I'm afraid that Norma would sorely dissaprove of the Tweety Bird stuffed animals tacked to the walls. Luckily, they kept a relic of the neon lights on the ceiling.
Incidentally, a friend pointed out to me that the jail scenes from the pilot were shot inside the building across the street from the diner. Last I checked, you could still see the jail cells up on the second floor. You'll notice that the windows on the right are covered, presumably in order to block out light for the shoot.

Here are some pics of the spot in the Double R parking lot where Mrs. Tremond and her grandson greet Laura with the framed photo.