::Downtown Diner Closed For Good?
From Raleigh Chronicle Staff & Wire Reports
Saturday June 16, 2007
RALEIGH - A popular downtown Raleigh diner has evidently closed down, but the question remains -- has it closed down for good?
Poole's Diner, which is located at 426 McDowell Street, has been closed for months. A cryptic sign on the front door says "Closed For Vacation" but the sign has been up since at least April and the restaurant was closed for some time even before that.
The front window has also been covered with brown paper and what looks like a refrigeration unit is now sitting outside of the diner.
When it was open, Poole's Diner was a popular place to eat. The interior was decorated with local works of art and had a 1950's style retro theme with a giant u-shaped bar in front. The menu consisted of blue plate type fare that included items like meat loaf and banana pudding. The diner also had a full bar and served drinks, often open until late at night.
In 2005 and 2006, the restaurant was one of the few places in downtown Raleigh that served a full menu of food until late at night and had a sandwich board sign out front that proclaimed its late night service. However, the restaurant started closing earlier and earlier.
According to one source, the restaurant changed ownership earlier this year and there had been problems with the restaurant long before that.
One of the problems has been just getting to the restaurant. Concrete barriers and very little on street parking kept patrons from being able to just pull up out front.
The construction in the area on the new downtown Raleigh hotel and convention center is going to be a boon to the area when it's completed in a couple years -- in the meatime however, it's created a big mess for small-time local businesses like Poole's.
In addition, one source of customers for the small diner has been destroyed. The King's Barcade music venue which was next door for years has been demolished to make room for a new parking lot. Since people came to King's to listen to music and stayed late, the diner had an incentive to stay open late.
However, with King's gone (it's not known if they will reopen at another location), if Poole's reopens, it will need to replace those customers.
According to a posting on Raleighing.com, the location of Poole's Diner has been the location of a diner or restaurant dating all the way back to the 1940's. A bakery was started there and eventually a restaurant was then added which was caused Poole's Luncheonette, which was open for decades and did not close until 1992. The building was then home to a new restaurant called Vertigo and then later re-opened by new owners as Poole's Diner.
The diner had a lot of fans for its comfort food, retro decor, and unique atmosphere.
However, it remains to be seen if the sign on the front will mean the restaurant will be reopening soon or if it will become another piece of Raleigh history ::