Omnivore - Three friends with a photo of Tom Hanks and 24 hours to kill walk into the Majestic

From sundown to sunrise at a Ponce landmark

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Late last year, four friends decided to spend an entire day at the Majestic Diner and document their experiment in agonizing detail. This is their story.

The 24-hour diner is a staple of American cuisine. Whether it be for brunch with your entire extended family, or for a late night gorging session to settle down that belly full of liquor, the 24-hour diner caters to almost any gastronomic need. But I ask you, dear reader, have you ever used such an establishment’s hours to the limit of its offerings, spending a full 24 hours in such a place? I, Matt Gaynes, and my accomplices Jeff Ader and Michael Maida, decided to give it a try. And I have never experienced a greater day—nor every permutation of the word “uncomfortable” — in my entire life.

I can hear your inevitable question: why on Earth did you do this? While the idea started out as a joke, the more people we told we were thinking of doing this, the more compelled we felt to be true to our word. We were also looking to break the routine of our prototypical weekend. Finally, we’re morons who end up doing strange, strange things for the sake of a good story. After a few weeks of preparation and planning (I lied. It was months. Months of planning. That just sounds so embarrassing…), the three of us set a date of Saturday, Sept. 19, at 11 a.m. to enter Atlanta’s historic Majestic Diner, not to leave until Sunday, Sept. 20, at 11 a.m.

What we will henceforth refer to as the experiment consisted of three rules:

1)No leaving
2)No sleeping
3)Phones remain in airplane mode

Also of note: we decided not to divulge our plans to the staff of the Majestic prior to our arrival. We did, however, agree that if prompted, we would be honest and straightforward. Honesty is always the best policy. Sometimes. 

What follows is our account of the experiment, to the best of our damaged memories.

All the names of the employees and staff members of the Majestic have been changed, not for fear of defamation, but simply because we never asked them for permission. We feel it only polite. Also, I just really like making up names (Please note: the staff at the Majestic was nothing short of phenomenal during our stay. If not for their hospitality and encouragement, I fear we would not have made it. This is a much overdue thank you to them). So take it from three morons. Here’s our story.

Read the rest of their story here.