Regular patrons at the Leesburg Restaurant are having a last meal of sorts today, as the iconic downtown diner will close for a renovation and transition.
The current lease expires at midnight and building owner Michael O’Connor has no plans to renew the current agreement. Instead the King Street restaurant will be closed for four to six weeks for its first significant renovation in decades and reopen this fall under new management.
That doesn’t mean the staff and the menu won’t be available. O’Connor has taken the unusual step of keeping on several staff members and making plans to offer the restaurant’s home-style breakfast and lunch menus at his Palio’s Ristorante Italiano, just a half block away.
O’Connor has owned the building for about a decade, and acknowledged the building is in need of renovation to “bring it up to my acceptable standards.”
But he said the diner would return. “It’s my commitment to everyone who’s asked—and there are hundreds of them from Town Hall and the couple who spent their first and 64th wedding anniversaries there—that I’ll keep it as a diner,” O’Connor said.