For more than eight decades, a roadside restaurant in Burtonsville, Maryland, has been a popular destination for diners. On Sunday, that tradition will come to an end.
The current owner of Seibel’s Restaurant and UpTown Pub says the establishment was sold to the owners of another restaurant just down Columbia Pike, run by another family with strong ties to Burtonsville. It will reopen - with a new name and a new menu.
“It’s bittersweet, the people you’re definitely gonna miss,” owner Karen Leach said during their last Sunday brunch.
She took over Seibel’s after the death of her father, who took it over from the original owners back in the 70s.
“[My] sister and I both went to college and said, ‘We’ll never work here and you can’t make us,’” Leach said. She thinks their father would be proud of how things worked out.
Customer Bruce McKay described Seibel’s as “a downhome kinda place” with a friendly environment. Homemade pies and ice cream are reminders of the restaurant’s past as a dairy, and of a time when old Columbia Pike was a one-lane road.
Tom Souder said he hadn’t been to the restaurant in 30 years, but just happened to come with his family on their last day.
“Me and my father, my uncles, everybody in our family was in construction work and we used to come in here every morning for breakfast,” Souder said.
For some, news of the closing was a shock.
“We were like, ‘What! How can you guys do that to us?’” customer Adeigh Bynum said.
Leach said it’s a matter of reflecting on sage words from her father: “Your ultimate challenge will be knowing when to walk away.” Especially in the last couple of years, the establishment has seen challenges including the pandemic, staffing and supply chain shortages.
Leach plans to close the doors for the last time with her employees.
“A lot of them have been with me 20, 25 years so they’ll stick it out with me and we’ll drink up the bar,” she said through laughs.
Cheers to 82 years, Seibel’s.