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 news triggered an outpouring of grief and nostalgia on social media.
My favorite place, my favorite food, my favorite people. Closing this Sunday, my heart hurts knowing the place I began my journey as a photographer will soon be gone. If you haven't been to Salt & Pepper, you must before Sunday. @olivemyers [ #vsco #vscocam #chicago #chicagofood #chicagophotographer #wonderfoodie #chicagoeats #chicagogram #food #saltandpepperdiner ]
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.
"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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