Farewell Forest Diner

It's the end of an era for this historic diner.

After nearly 70 years, the is closing.

The diner, on the same lot as the former 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 , 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?

Larry May 17, 2012 at 09:32 PM
I've been visiting the Forest Diner since my family moved three miles up the road in the early '50's. Three ownership changes over the years didn't matter....there was always good food and good people. I've made dozens of friends there over the years. The people and the food will be moving across the street to Jilly's, but that comfortable diner atmoshpere that made Forest Diner a special place will be gone. I'll miss it.
Kat C May 17, 2012 at 10:00 PM
Forest Diner was our go to place after track meets and dances in high school! They didn't seem to care that we were occasionally rowdy, and sometimes destructive to the salt and pepper shakers. I always said it was the one restaurant that didn't ask us not to return. I'll miss it!
Debbie Hebbeler May 17, 2012 at 10:20 PM
I remember lots of times that my parents would take us there for Sunday dinner. After I left the area, my parents use to go there all the time. Back in the '90's when my mother passed away, Dad would continue to go there. He was friends with all the waitresses there and even the ones that worked at Jilly's. Dad passes in 1999.....I've been back on occasion. Thanks for the fond memories.
Debbie Hebbeler May 17, 2012 at 10:21 PM
I remember lots of times that my parents would take us there for Sunday dinner. After I left the area, my parents use to go there all the time. Back in the '90's when my mother passed away, Dad would continue to go there. He was friends with all the waitresses there and even the ones that worked at Jilly's. Dad passed in 1999.....I've been back on occasion. Thanks for the fond memories.
Bob May 18, 2012 at 04:39 AM
Sad to see you go...
ECLibertarian May 18, 2012 at 11:12 AM
I for one, won't be sad to see the place go... Been there about 8 times in the past 5 years and something always happened that was a turn-off. The last straw was when I was standing at the cash register waiting to pay my bill while the person operating said cash register continued to have a personal phone conversation for 5 minutes and gave me 'eyes' like I was bothering her.... I just hope that whatever moves into the new complex they are building there IS NOT: a.) Another bank b.) Another frozen yogurt place c.) Another chiropractor d.) Another bakery
Kristen Leister May 18, 2012 at 12:14 PM
What a shame. My family and I loved going to the Forest Diner for late Sunday breakfasts. The atmosphere was priceless. There aren't many places like The Forest anymore. It will surely be missed!
Jen L. May 18, 2012 at 01:34 PM
I had no idea this was happening. I'm so sad. The Forest Diner is -much- preferred to the Double T.
Liza Duvall May 18, 2012 at 01:56 PM
Too bad it's not the Double T that has to go! The Forest will surely be missed!.
Susan Smith May 18, 2012 at 02:46 PM
I will truly miss the Forest Diner. My Grandmother used to take me and my sister there for our birthdays. We would always get excited that we could get the cheeseburger royal. I miss her and I will miss the Forest!
TomP May 18, 2012 at 02:56 PM
Why pick on the Double T? My wife and I attend a monthly breakfast at the Double T with her Howard High graduating class and the folks there could not be nicer nor the breakfast much better. Service is always just outstanding. When you get breakfast for thirty or more seniors without a hitch, you are doing well! We can all mourn the passing of the Forest Diner, but thankfully, the Double T will remain. TomP
Brandie Jefferson May 18, 2012 at 03:01 PM
You can read more about the diner and people's memories (good and bad) on Tale of Two Cities: http://bit.ly/JSZxrw and HowChow: http://bit.ly/KoIQCj
Michael May 18, 2012 at 06:27 PM
Why is there always one in every crowd who enjoys raining on the parade? Typical Libertarian....just had to speak your mind didn't you? And guess what? A bank will be sitting where the Forest Diner once was. Just deserts perhaps.
Rumormonger May 18, 2012 at 07:11 PM
Just a rumor, of course, but I was told by a completely unreliable source that the actual Silk City dining car that Forest Diner is built around, will be preserved and become part of an old-fashioned ice cream parlor operated by the owners of Soft Stuff in the new business center. Cool idea, even if it is likely untrue.
FRANCIS May 20, 2012 at 01:29 PM
I agree with Lisa. The Forest Diner is a treasure,while Double T is horrible. Rude management and low employee morale combine for an awful atmosphere. There is no comparison and I cannot imagine anything will improve there once the Forest is gone
Brandie Jefferson May 20, 2012 at 03:20 PM
That'd be pretty cool. I'll try to find out!
Daisy_MAe May 22, 2012 at 01:31 AM
Shame on you. This is not the place to error your grievances. This is the passing of an era at a destination that clearly many, many people have enjoyed over the years. The best part of an opinion? Knowing when NOT to state it.
Tiffany Thomas-Randall June 22, 2012 at 01:14 PM
I am sorry, I am new to the area and went to Forest DIner and me and my daughter waited 10 min to get seated, there was no crowd. It was like they saw us standing there waiting to get sat, but wanted us to leave. the hostess was nasty, she took us to a table near the back door close to a hanging flytrap and when we sat water was dripping on my head from the ceiling. I came there because Double Tree was packed, which is the place I would normally visit and both the atmospher and attituse at Forest DIner was disgusting. I could not believe they were open and saying they had the best food. Needless to say I do not think they took too kindly to my kind of people.
Tiffany Thomas-Randall June 22, 2012 at 01:15 PM
And so I left the diner without even getting a drink


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