A Seattle diner that served customers since the 1930s is now officially closed for good.
Ludi’s Diner lost its lease, but the owner was forced to shut it down even earlier than expected. Greg Rosas said an early morning fire that started in the kitchen on Aug. 14 caused more than $30,000 in damage and basically shut down the hot cooking area.
The restaurant was slated to close Aug. 31. Rosas said in March he was told the lease would not be renewed.
“I asked if the rent is the issue, maybe I can afford,” he said. “They said, ‘No, we just have a different plan.'”
Ludi’s Diner originally opened in the ’30s at another downtown location
It moved to 2nd Avenue and Pike Street, steps away from Pike Place Market in 2001.
Loyal customers packed the place since news of the closure came out.
Those who showed up Friday found a locked gate and told KIRO 7 they can’t believe the diner is gone.
“Devastated, of course. Ludi’s been here a long time,” said Fely Alfren, who said she’d been eating at Ludi’s for more than a decade.
The landlord is giving Rosas and his staff until Sept. 5 to clear out the space and move out permanently.
Rosas said he wants to reopen Ludi’s at another downtown location but it’s been difficult to find a spot he can afford and where he can operate as a full diner.
But the 63-year-old is still counting his blessings and hopeful that things will eventually work out.
“Ninety percent of my life had been happy and positive,” Rosas said. “This 10 percent, it won’t put me down.”