HUNTINGDON COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — A community staple, frequented by many over the years, could be closing its doors for good.
For 61 years, Huntingdon community members found themselves walking through the doors of Tops Diner in Huntingdon County, indulging in a delicious meal, and creating many memories. But soon those memories might be all they’ll have left.
Andrea Darby from Huntingdon County says “my grandma Darby – we were really close growing up, she used to absolutely love going there, so I have been there a lot of times over the years from when I was a little kid to now and they have really good french fries I know that!”
Darby’s experience is one that many share. Including owner, Rick Walter who took over the business with only four hundred dollars and made it what it is today.
Walter says “I was one of those people whose grandfather used to bring them here all the time when I was little…I put all I had into this place…. I just never thought it would get to this point.”
COVID-19 restaurant limitations are now putting Walter and his beloved diner in a tough spot. Walter says “last Saturday I was ‘at capacity’ with twenty customers and I had to turn ten or fifteen people away when I had ten tables open inside and it just is frustrating like you would not believe.”
Almost $100,000 short of foreclosure, Walter did something he says he doesn’t like to do – “reaching out and hoping that the public can help me out some and try to get this taken care of.”
He took to Facebook on Monday asking for donations and praying for a miracle within the next few months.
Darby says “its a part of the history of Huntingdon County. It’s been around for a long time and I think it would be a really huge loss.”
If Tops Diner has to be sold, Walter hopes the next buyer keeps the tradition alive.