NEW BRITAIN - The Miss Washington Diner, a fixture in downtown New Britain for 85 years, has closed, less than six months after Judith Robinson, a longtime employee, bought it.
“It saddens us that the historic Miss Washington Diner is dark,” Gerry Amodio, the Downtown District’s executive director, said. “It was the new owner, Judith’s, dream to buy the restaurant. As we know it, due to some health problems and the impact they had on her running the diner, she didn’t reopen after a vacation.”
According to Amodio, Robinson told him that she had a medical problem with a leg. She went on vacation to stay home and rest, he said.
A note on the restaurant’s door had stated that the owner was on vacation and would return on Sept. 7, but a check Thursday revealed the restaurant had never reopened.
For 37 years, Robinson devoted her time and energy to the Miss Washington Diner, where she served thousands of customers breakfast and lunch.
She bought the restaurant in May when she struck a deal with the former owner, Dan Czako.
Owning the restaurant had been Robinson’s goal. Czako was Robinson’s seventh boss there.
The diner has been at 10 Washington St. for 85 years. It was called the Terminal Diner when it opened in 1928 at a previous location next to a bus terminal.
“The Miss Washington Diner is an iconic destination in downtown New Britain and we are saddened that it has closed,” Mayor Erin Stewart said. “I will be having our economic development director reach out to the owner to see if there is anything we can do to help keep it open.”
Amodio said Robinson doesn’t own the building, only the business.
“The building actually pays a land lease to the landlord, who owns the building,” Amodio said.
“We have suggested the diner to some new people who we hope may look at it to reopen it or fashion it into a business that they would like. But at this time, we don’t know what the future plans hold,” Amodio said.
The diner was known for traditional breakfast foods such as toast, pancakes and eggs. It also had a lunch menu featuring sandwiches and salads.
Robinson only offered breakfast and lunch, but years ago, the restaurant used to be open 24 hours a day.
Karla Santos can be reached at 860-801-5079 or firstname.lastname@example.org.