Montgomery landmark diner closing - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Montgomery landmark diner closing

Posted by Bryan Henry  -  bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

For 70 years Magdalene Calambakas' family scooped up a lot of customers and a plateful of memories at the Capitol Grill.

"We have governors come through and Paul 'Bear' Bryant,' said Calambakas.

This weekend it all comes to an end, closing the door on an institution.

Gary Head is beginning to understand why this was a popular place. Head has been coming to the grill for only a year.

"It's like coming home and I just live a couple of miles away," said Head who was having lunch with his wife.

33 years for Conrad Jackson.

"It's sort of like 'Cheers' where everybody knows your name," said Jackson.

Calambakas spent about a year debating whether this was the right thing to do. In the end she felt she had no choice.

"For example the price of gas has gone up and every time I buy groceries that gets passed on to me. Also, I'm tired and it's time," said Calambakas.

Customers say this was the kind of place where problems got solved, deals made and strangers became friends. Oh, yea the food is pretty good, too. The best meat and three in town, according to Glenn Parker.

"The service is great and I've been coming long enough they know what I want," said Parker.

Carolyn Long is a 23-year veteran at the Capitol Grill, 23 years of one story after another.

"Mr. George used to own it and he played the lottery. One day his bookkeeper had it fixed where he thought he had won a million dollars, so he went around to customers telling everybody he had won and then the bookkeeper told him he didn't," Long said with a chuckle.

The final day of a 70-year run is Saturday at two o clock sharp. It's the end of an era for Capitol Grill in the capital city.

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