Letter to the editor: Loss of diner was unfortunate

I recently read your article on Thursday, May 24, 2018, “Those Were the Days,” ending an era of almost 80 years as Smith’s Park Restaurant, Steve’s, and finally The Diner, at 66 Merchants Row in Middlebury and couldn’t help but wonder why.
The owners Carl Roesch and Caitlin Harwood are selling to the Town Hall Theater so that some day the site will be cleared for a building to provide more room for theater buildings, storage and maybe a small restaurant — let’s not hold our breath on the latter.
I read about the faithful customers, my wife and I included, the stories over the years, good memories — then why?
Did they sell for the money? Was business bad? Did they not know how to run it? Maybe someone could have called chef Gordon Ramsey. Why isn’t the building an historic site after all these years? Greg’s was sold. Look what happened there.
Hopefully Toni Neri will bring it back to life. Maybe he should have bought The Diner.
All you hear is shop local, support local business. Did they sell because of the railroad bridge/tunnel construction and figured it was a losing battle?
The local people should be able to shop local and have continued memories at The Diner. Maybe Roesch and Harwood should never have bought it in the first place.
Now Ben Franklin is closing in August. Let’s build more offices. Sure, shop locally. Where? Rutland or Burlington. There should be a public outcry, opinion to keep places that have historic value to the community. It’s sad that this is the trend in today’s society.
Norman Beerman

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