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Eat-Rite Diner, iconic St. Louis restaurant, has permanently closed

Eat-Rite Diner, iconic St. Louis restaurant, has permanently closed

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St. Louis at a standstill

Eat-Rite Diner's Sarah Williams had cooked for only two take-out customers by nightfall in downtown St. Louis on Wednesday, March 18, 2020. "I have no idea what to think, I just want to go home at this point," said Williams. Photo by Robert Cohen, rcohen@post-dispatch.com

ST. LOUIS  — Eat-Rite Diner, the iconic restaurant located just south of downtown at 622 Chouteau Avenue, has closed.

Joel Holtman, who with his wife Shawna has operated Eat-Rite since 2018, confirmed the closure to Off the Menu Saturday.

“It was a good run” of almost three years operating the restaurant, Holtman said.

Holtman said Eat-Rite had no business left due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has not only imposed restrictions on restaurant operations but has also greatly reduced the number of employees at several large businesses in and near downtown.

Holtman also noted the crime and violence that surrounds Eat-Rite’s location.

In a Facebook post Saturday, the Holtmans said they were “deeply saddened” to announce the closure. They also thanked employee Mitraya “Mickey” Dixon, “who stuck with the diner from the beginning of our ownership to the last day. …”

KSDK first reported Eat-Rite’s closure. The restaurant’s final day was Dec. 12.

Photos of Eat-Rite with its front door and windows boarded up circulated on social media Friday.

Joel and Shawna Holtman reopened Eat-Rite on Cardinals Opening Day 2018.

The married couple took over the Route 66 landmark after longtime owner L.B. Powers closed the restaurant in October 2017.

40+ St. Louis restaurants that said farewell in 2020

Editor's note: This post has been updated to correct the last name for Eat-Rite Diner's previous owner.

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