The Tastee Diner, a fixture in Silver Spring, Maryland, since the 1940s, suddenly closed its doors for the last time Wednesday afternoon.
“As a Silver Spring local, it kind of makes me sad,” one customer said.
Indeed, sadness was on the menu Wednesday.
“I’m very angry with this, finding out they’re closing,” customer Tina Pawlik said.
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For longtime customers, it wasn’t just the loss of a favorite eatery. They felt for the staff, who learned they’d be out of jobs just hours before the 2 p.m. closing.
“They didn’t tell the workers anything,” Pawlik said. “They come in this morning, you don’t have a job tomorrow. Huh?”
The art deco, modern machine-age design stood out among the newer buildings in Silver Spring – the curves, the wraparound stainless steel, the neon sign. It was more than just a place to eat.
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“Got lots of friends here,” customer Alan Bowser said. “We have community meetings in the side annex over here. The Democrats’ D18 Breakfast Club is here once a month.”
“It’s going to be missed, because it’s been a really nice institution to have in downtown Silver Spring,” Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich said.
The uncertain future of the spot and reason for the closing was all the buzz among the lunch crowd – busier than usual as news of the closing spread via social media and word of mouth.
“I don’t think anything can take its place,” Bowser said.
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