BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Let’s just say rumors of its death have been greatly exaggerated. The iconic “Happy Days”-style soda fountain at downtown Bakersfield’s Woolworth’s building is not permanently closing.
Despite what you may have heard around town or read on social media, the Woolworth’s lunch counter, which is said to be the last surviving diner of its kind in America is not going away for good. But it is probably closing temporarily.
Last October, when the building was sold, Jeremy Trammell, who has operated the vintage diner for 12 years, announced plans to turn in his spatula sometime this year. And that’s exactly what he’s doing, as promised.
Trammell will be calling it quits at the end of this week and that saddened some of the diners we caught up with Tuesday.
Bakersfield resident Martha Lawson said she had been coming to Woolworths since 1955 with her grandparents before she even moved to Bakersfield in 1968. She said the news that it will be temporarily closing is very sad.
“I used to work at the telephone company and we would all used to walk over here to eat and this was our favorite place to eat to lunch,” Lawson said.
The building’s new owners, the Moneywise Guys, a local financial services company have said all along they intend to keep the diner exactly like it is. Even if that is with a new operator. Now that Trammell is leaving, they’re searching for one.
There’s one catch. The Moneywise Guys plan to embark on a major renovation of the three-story, 19th-century landmark in August. So they will need to close the diner for an undetermined period of time, probably several months.
The new tenant would run the diner for six months, close for a period of time, and if all parties are happy, they would return when the building’s first-floor renovation is complete.
If you’re looking for a business opportunity that involves hamburgers and nostalgia, call the Moneywise Guys at 661-847-1000.
Just to make it clear the Woolworth’s lunch counter is not, repeat not, closing permanently.