LOGANSPORT, Ind. (WLFI) — A Logansport diner will close its doors after 73 years of business.
On Aug. 1 the grill will sizzle one last time for Whitehouse Restaurant. Everything in the diner is practically the same as is it was 50 years ago.
Karen Grisamore will be closing the restaurant, so she can work for her brother at his Italian restaurant in Logansport. Grisamore has worked at the Whitehouse Restaurant since she was in high school and bought the diner from her step-dad in 2007.
She said the diner has become a second family for the regulars and place of nostalgia for others.”
“It’s personal. We don’t go, ‘What do you want? OK see ya,’ We actually talk to people, take care of them and try to cook them good food,” said Grisamore.
“It’s a legacy,” Vicki Jackson said. “It’s just been in my memory all through my life growing up in this town. The people are just amazing that come in here.”
Grismore’s mother Willene Hettinger worked at the diner for 35 years and eventually married Lester Hettinger, who owned the diner and was its master griller until 2012. She said she was having some car trouble one day, got a ride home from Lester and was offered a job at the diner.
“I said, ‘Well when do you want me to go to work?’ and he said,’Tomorrow morning if you want to,’ so I went and bought my uniform the next day,” said Hettinger.
Vicki Jackson has worked at the diner for three years and was hired by Grisamore in a similar way as Willene.
“I was looking for a job and they called and told me. I walked up to her and said I don’t have any waitress experience, but I’m willing to learn,’ and I’ve been here for three years,” said Jackson.
The diner would not have its family feel without regulars like Roger Myer. He’s been coming to the diner for 25 years, four days a week, ordering either sausage and eggs or sausage and pancakes. He said he’s sad to say farewell to the place he could call home and bring along his kids and grand-kids.
“Part of your life is being set aside and you just got to go on,” said Myer.
Since word has spread about the diner closing, business has picked up a bit, attracting people from near and far.
“Almost everyone that grew up here has been here one time or another and so everyone’s sad,” said Grisamore.
“It gives you a warm feeling when you walk in the door. Whitehouse…it’s been here for so long and then it’s not going to be here anymore,” said Hettinger.