Iconic South Burlington diner reopens under new owner

Published: Apr. 18, 2022 at 3:39 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 18, 2022 at 6:41 PM EDT
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SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - The pandemic forced many restaurants and businesses to close up shop, including one beloved eatery in South Burlington.

We first reported in June 2020 the Parkway Diner was shutting down until COVID restrictions were lifted, according to a Facebook post. They never reopened.

Two years later, a new owner has taken over with new optimism.

It’s order up once again at the Parkway.

“Food looks good so hoping it tastes as good as it looks!” said Joseph Siemons of Fairfax.

Diner favorites fill the menu: omelets, turkey clubs, even mimosa flights.

“There are the old diner favorites on there, but I think a lot of stuff with some new twist as well,” said Brian Lewis, the new owner of the Parkway Diner. “We’re a total scratch kitchen, so any and everything on there we’re making in-house.”

Not new to the restaurant industry, Lewis founded Waitsfield’s Toast and Eggs, and the Filling Station in Middlesex.

“I have a love of diners,” Lewis said. “I think a lot of people do, as well.”

Lewis says he grew up going to diners like this one at home in Connecticut. So as he was looking to expand his palate, he took a tour of the Parkway Diner.

“As soon as I walked in, I knew it felt right,” he said. “I mean, look around. The old freezers and refrigeration behind the bar still. It’s so nostalgic in here, it kind of feels like home.”

On opening day, there was no trouble filling seats.

“Love diner food,” said Sophia Currier of Montpelier. “I’ve always grown up going to a bunch of different diners around and why not go to a new one?”

“We were just looking for a place for breakfast, which we can’t find anymore. Seems that nobody is open. And we were just driving by, and I see the sign out front that says it was reopening, so we quickly pulled in,” Siemons said.

With outdoor dining on the way and booze now on the menu, Lewis says he’s hopeful people will come to try out his twist on the iconic eatery.

“It’s just really nice to have it back open. We have so many people come in and tell us stories of when they used to come in as children or 20 years ago. That nostalgic feel is definitely here,” he said.

Lewis says they make their own bread and smoke their own meats, among other things. You can get your eggs or patty melt from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. seven days a week.

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Last day for Parkway Diner in South Burlington

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