There is more to the story than the 'California Cost-of-Living
Yermo, CA is a desert crossroads (literally), with a Marine Supply Depot next door and a RR Crew-change location as well. Located about 10 miles east of Barstow (The Armpit of the Mojave
) and 50 miles from Gas and Food at Baker (further towards Vegas) and you have an image of the 'end-of-the-world'
mentality of the locals there.
As the website says these folks had a connection with the Knott Family (Think Knott's Berry Farm
)... When Walter Knott bought the Calico Ghost Town (an abandoned silver mining community about 5 miles from Yermo) the plan was to develop the town into another entertainment center to appeal to the LA-Vegas tourists. The diner was to offer a food-stop next to the freeway to feed the travelers. Well, the development faded out and the Knotts finally gave the Calico Ghost Town
to the County to run as a regional park (which it does quite well.) The diner has hung on over the years, but , as you noted, it is sticking the prices out to snag the Vegas traveler...not the local train-chasing retired teachers !!! It is a fun stop, but I wouldn't order a major food group there !