Smith Street Diner

Smith Street Diner.

GREENSBORO — A popular downtown restaurant was often so busy you had to wait outside on the sidewalk to get a seat for a breakfast plate or a bowl of gumbo. But it could not survive the coronavirus pandemic.

After being closed through the state shut-down of dine-in to curb the spread of the virus, owner Beth Kizhnerman announced in a post on Facebook that  she will not reopen Smith Street Diner at 438 Battleground Ave.

"When Smith Street Diner opened 15 plus years ago, we had no idea it would become what it has over the years… an institution," Kizhnerman said in the post.

Kizhnerman said the decision to close a business is "exceedingly difficult." She closed her former restaurant, Bistro Sofia, in 2010.

Kizhnerman credits her staff for the restaurant's success and thanks her customers.

She goes on to say: "I do not know what the future holds but I hope it will be better and brighter than the place we are in at this moment."

Smith Street opened in the old Robinson's Restaurant in 2005. It was known for its cat head-size biscuits, bottomless cups of coffee and orange juice freshly squeezed from a Willy Wonka-ish machine while the customer watched from the counter.

Smith Street was named one of the South's Best Diners by Southern Living magazine and one of the 50 Best Diners in the Country by Food Network.

Contact at 336-373-7145 or at carl.wilson@greensboro.com. Follow on Twitter at Short_OrdersNR and on Facebook.

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