Selsey is brought the taste of America by Penny's American Diner

A taste of America, with an extra serving of a warm state-side welcome, can now be found in Selsey thanks to the opening of a new American diner.

Monday, 6th December 2021, 2:34 pm

Penny's American Diner was the brainchild of owner Nigel Horrigan, who has had had the spot on Selsey High Street for 21 years. In only 34 days, with the help of friends, family and a lot of elbow grease, he managed to completely revamp the whole kitchen and restaurant from a British cafe called Cafe Grumpy's to an American grill.

The doo-woppy diner is adorned in 50's style American memorabilia that was sourced from eBay, Facebook and often required travelling all over the country for purchases, and provides a real American feel. But to its owner and Chef it is not the priority, he said: "It is great, just as long as the food is also good".

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Selsey's American Diner

The ex-Chichester College student had dreamed of opening an American Diner since his trips to the US when he was a child and eating where the real Americans ate.

Mr Horrigan added: "I thought, I'm 54 now, if I don't do it now I'm never going to do it".

The easy-going eatery serves burgers, pancakes, ribs and much more traditional American dishes, and even offers vegan, vegetarian and gluten free alternatives.

Nigel 'Grumpy' Horrigan owner of Selsey's new American Diner

Mr Horrigan, who was given the ironic nickname 'Grumpy' because his friendly and kindly nature, has been a chef since he was 17 years old. During the lockdowns, 'Grumpy' cooked food five days a week for St Richard's Hospital and for the local elderly.

When he could no longer afford to keep supplying the food, he started a JustGiving page which managed to raise £4,277 ($5676.43) when his target was only £100 ($132.72) so he could continue to feed the elderly and the hospital throughout the lockdowns.

Penny's American Diner opened on Saturday, December 4, and is open Wednesday-Sunday 10am-8pm and can be found on 118 High Street, Selsey, PO20 0QG. Call: 01243 601814 or visit

American 50's memorabilia fills the walls
Penny's American Diner
American Diner in West Sussex: Penny's American Diner