Eat-Rite Diner might have closed for good — no, really this time.
Owner L.B. Powers, 80, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch he “honestly (doesn’t) know” if the long-lived diner will reopen. It is closed for the time being due to mechanical issues with an exhaust fan, but Powers told the Post-Dispatch he is not in good health.
Eat-Rite is a downtown institution, a late-night hangout that has been reported as dead before. In July, rumors ran rampant online that Eat-Rite would close at the end of September. Powers and his wife, Dorcas, both said it was not true, but that they have operated the decades-old dine since 1970 and were not sure how much longer they could keep it going. A sale might be impossible, Dorcas Powers said at the time, because certain issues with City Hall have been grandfathered in during the 47 years they have operated Eat-Rite.
The history of the diner goes back much further than the Powers era, however: best estimation is that the tiny diner — measuring only 516 square feet — was likely constructed in the 1930s. It’s survived economic rises and falls, two baseball stadiums only a few blocks away, an armed robber in the 1980s that fired off a shot into the porcelain tile — the holes remain — and according to the Riverfront Times, the whole city has eaten there at some point.
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Buzz online has already begun, with some posting on Eat-Rite’s Facebook page: “Please don’t close.”