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Old Icon of Saratoga Quietly Closes

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A longtime landmark, the 24-hour Saratoga Diner on South Broadway recently closed, without warning or word about reasons why.

restaurant-sign.jpgMany locals were disappointed to hear the news. Saratoga.com's own Ashley Dingeman, author of "Eat Your Heart Out", said the diner had been around as long as she could remember.

Without an official reason and no talk about reopening, we can only speculate why the restaurant with the recognizable giant red pillar and colt statue had to close.

Perhaps the best idea is offered by Todd Shimkus, the CEO of the Saratoga Springs Chamber of Commerce.

"Diners, at one point, were incredibly popular," Shimkus explains. "But times have changed."

He's right - in the last quarter-century alone, Saratoga Springs has grown and evolved into a vibrantly different community, with a new market and different expectations.

Personally, I love diners. They're great for winding down after night on the town, for those irresistible late-night cravings, or for when your dinner date is incurably tardy. However, not everyone enjoys these features.

As Shimkus said, while there are still a few of us who enjoy places like Saratoga Diner, we have become a niche market.

This closing of comes in the wake of other businesses leaving South Broadway, though these closings all had separate reasons and are not part of a trend.

On the plus side, with all of these vacancies opening up on South Broadway, there is an opportunity for new businesses to move into this key point of access to the city.

Saratoga hasn't failed to notice - according to Shimkus, a committee is currently forming to look at the area to see what can be done to bring new business to that corner of the Spa City.

While we will miss the old Saratoga Diner, I'm excited to see what new enterprisse will spring up in its place. And perhaps they'll keep the little horse statue on the building, too.

Have any ideas about what you'd like to see on South Broadway? Share with us!

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That end of South Broadway is an embarassment to our city. Raze the entire west side of it and let Bonacio or the Rigis do something proper with it.

I am thrilled that it's finally closed! The bldg has been an eyesore for too many yrs and needs to be torn down. Considering it's a bus stop location, a new diner would do well - something that's bright, clean and comfortable inside, and a building design that better fits with Saratoga architecture. Wouldn't it be wonderful if REAL home-cooked food was offered.

I think it's great that Healthy Living Market and Cafe are coming to this area. I also think it's a real shame that they've decided to locate the store in the mall. It seems like one of the lots on South Broadway would have been a much more conducive location. Not only for the store and its customers but because of what it would have added to the southern entrance to the city. Even the car dealership building could have been repurposed for this store. Too bad they couldn't wait just a little while longer... they could have had a stand-alone location just like their store in Vermont. It's really quite attractive outside with the landscaping, fresh flowers, and hardscape features.

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