SALT LAKE CITY — After 60 years in business, the iconic Coachman's Dinner & Pancake House has closed its doors for good.
A message posted to the restaurant's street sign was the only warning customers had of its closure. The restaurant was scheduled to close Tuesday, but ran out of food Monday and will not reopen.
"We are grateful to all our loyal patrons, employees and vendors. Thank you!" the sign reads. "We were honored to serve you and be a part o many celebrations with great food and service."
"We will miss you!"
The restaurant opened in 1962, and moved to its current State Street location in 1975.
"I think we've given a lot of good food and a lot of good service to some wonderful people out there, and we're going to miss them all, but we appreciate their patronage and are honored to have served them," said owner Mike Nikols.
While many restaurants have closed due to the pandemic, that is not the case for Coachman's.
In March, Nikols was given permission to convert the Coachman's property to "urban neighborhood" zoning which will allow mixed-use buildings four stories or higher, The Salt Lake Tribune reports.
Nikols plans to replace the restaurant and other buildings he owns with a new building that offers commercial space and condominiums.
"In order to get the zoning we needed, they needed it to be a corner lot, so they wanted us to include [the restaurant]," said Nikols of why the restaurant needed to be closed.
Customers who learned of the restaurant's closing Monday reacted with heartbreak and disbelief.
"I don't think they're doing the right thing," says Mel Pratt, who has been coming to Coachman's since they opened. "They've had a good business, but maybe they've made all the money they need."