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Salt & Pepper Diner Closes Last Location: 'It's The End Of An Era'

By Alex Nitkin | May 17, 2016 5:32am
 The diner served its last burger on May 1.
The diner served its last burger on May 1.
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Facebook / Leigha Wondergem Photography

LAKEVIEW — A North Side dining institution closed for good earlier this month after Salt & Pepper Diner, 3537 N. Clark St., shut down to make room for the massive new Addison Park on Clark project.

Salt & Pepper Diner opened at 2575 N. Lincoln Ave. in 1965, and owner John Halle opened the Wrigleyville location in 1996. The Lincoln Park spot closed in 2012.

Employees got official notice on April 1 that their diner's days were numbered, according to manager Rhonda Lossiah. It closed May 1.

"We knew the day was coming, we just didn't know it would be so soon," said Lossiah, who started as a server at the Lincoln Park location in 1986. "Most have us have been here for so many years, it was just really sad. It's the end of an era."

The diner was well known for its milkshakes and burgers with cheese sprouting like a sunflower, and as the setting of a popular standup bit by comedian John Mulaney. 

The news triggered an outpouring of grief and nostalgia on social media.

Construction of the new development is expected to take up to two years. It's slated to include a rooftop pool and a health club, along with 148 rental units, 170,000 square feet of retail space and 493 parking spaces.

Salt & Pepper Diner wasn't the only business forced out by the development. iO Theater, Bar Louie and Goose Island Wrigleyville all had to pack up their Lakeview locations.

"It's sad to see it happening right in front of us, but times are changing," Lossiah said. "The almighty dollar is stepping in, and small businesses are being taken out."

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