The sudden departure of the popular dining chain leaves Ithaca with only three greasy spoons remaining: The State Diner, the Lincoln Street Diner and the Angelhearts Diner.

February 6, 2020

Denny’s Unexpectedly Closes After Six Years, Leaving Ithaca Without Any 24/7 Diners

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Cornellians looking for an omelette or pancakes just lost another late-night staple: Denny’s abruptly closed last Thursday after six years of operation — without notifying the public or its employees.

“It is of sincerest regret to inform you that Denny’s of Ithaca is unfortunately closed permanently,” said a sign plastered on the store’s main entrance on Jan. 30. “We could not be more thankful for the opportunity to serve the wonderful people of Ithaca over the years.” 

The decision to close the Ithaca Denny’s closely followed the shuttering of the diner’s New Hartford, New York branch, which greeted customers with a similar sign on Jan. 5, according to a Central New York radio station.

Both locations seem to have provided minimal notice of the closing to employees.

The New Hartford location alerted its employees just two days before the closing, a Utica resident wrote on Facebook. A similar post claimed that the head chef at the Ithaca location was not given any notice before the location closed its doors.

“Denny’s can confirm that this location has closed, but we do not have additional information at this time,” a Denny’s spokesperson wrote to The Sun.

The number of diners in Ithaca, and their hours of operation, have also consistently declined in the past few years. Manos Diner closed in 2014 after 52 years of operation, and Friendly’s relocated across town in 2013, allowing Denny’s to set up shop in its old location.

The State Diner was the other 24/7 diner in Ithaca, but it reduced its hours in 2013 to 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., after a fire ravaged the building in 2012.

Denny’s closure leaves Ithaca with only three greasy spoons: The State Diner, the Lincoln Street Diner and the Angelhearts Diner. 

Editor’s note: The attribution of the information provided by Denny’s has been updated.