Country Diner closes

Jessica Lentine

Kent State students who enjoyed the 24-hour convenience of the Country Diner in Kent will now have to turn elsewhere for their late-night cravings.

The Country Diner, located at 1225 W. Main St., closed its doors once and for all on June 11. Manager Ed Davidian said a number of reasons contributed to the decision to close the diner.

“Sales volume hasn’t been there for a while,“ Davidian said. “We tried to bring it back, but it never happened.“

The decrease in business was mainly a result of a salmonella outbreak that took place at a Brimfield restaurant with a similar name. In March 2001, five people who ate at the Country Kitchen, located at 4414 State Route 43, reported cases of salmonella poisoning, according to the Akron Beacon Journal. Davidian said that the Country Diner took a sales hit because of the confusion between the two restaurants.

The diner also experienced a slight setback in business because of the university closing for the summer, but according to Davidian, it did not have a big enough effect on the store to cause it to close.

Junior broadcast news major Hilary Holmes is discouraged about the decreasing number of restaurants where students can eat late at night.

“There were only a few places open past midnight in the first place, and now between the Country Diner closing and Taco Bell being shut down for the summer, it’s getting more and more difficult to find somewhere to eat at 3 a.m.“

Luckily, students won’t have to look too far for a replacement. There are two other Country Diners in the area, one located in Alliance and another in Akron. Neither will be affected by the close of the Kent location.

Davidian, who is also the manager of the other two Country Diners, said that the Akron location got more business from Kent State students than the Kent location did.

Attempts were made to keep the eatery afloat, despite the final decision to shut down. Local media tried to clear up the confusion about the salmonella outbreak in 2001, but many were left uninformed.

The company was also planning to switch the Kent location to entirely non-smoking. Davidian said once the decision was made to close the store, there was no use making the switch.

There were 25 employees working at the diner, and many will be transferred to one of the two other locations.

Contact general assignment reporter Jessica Lentine at [email protected].