After nearly 70 years, the Forest Diner is closing.
The diner, on the same lot as the former Forest Motel on Baltimore National Pike, will serve its last coffee on May 28 as the Forest Green mixed-use development ramps up.
And Carole Frick will be there.
“I used to come here with my husband. When he passed away,” she said, “well, I still came.”
Frick sat at the counter Thursday talking with her waitress, Ellen. Though she wouldn’t refer to her as such.
“The girls are my family,” she said, referring to the waitresses. “I come for the girls.”
Ellen responded in kind, “these are not my customers. They’re my family.”
There aren’t many places left like the Forest Diner, Frick said. Places where, when she steps foot through the door, her coffee is set down, waiting for her.
“I will be here on the 28th,” she said of the diner’s last day. “And I will follow the girls over to Jilly’s.”
Ellen said that all of the diner’s waitresses have jobs waiting for them at Jilly’s Bar and Grille, across the street in the Enchanted Forest Shopping Center.
When asked if either woman wanted to take a piece of the building with them, to remember it by, Frick said the building wasn’t important.
“The building has changed,” she said, noting that the bathrooms had moved and additional rooms have been built. “But the people haven’t.”
As Ellen walked over to the coffee machine, she said she didn’t care for keepsakes either, but thought again, turning back toward Frick with a laugh.
“I may take a spoon.”
Do you have memories of the Forest Diner? What other historic Ellicott City businesses do you miss?