SILVER SPRING, Md. — After decades in Silver Spring, Maryland, the Tastee Diner closed suddenly on Wednesday. The restaurant had been serving customers classic diner fair for 80 years.
Owner Gene Wilkes said he can no longer operate the Silver Spring location because of personal medical reasons and sold the property to Roadside Development.
The D.C.-based developer said it plans to redevelop the block on which Tastee Diner sits, but plans to honor the diner’s Silver Spring location by incorporating its original dining car into the future mixed-use residential project.
Built in 1946, the classic railroad car design sat at the original Silver Spring location at the corner of Wayne and Georgia Avenues before being bought by Wilkes in 1988. In June 2000, Wilkes relocated a portion of the dining cab to its current location in Silver Spring. The majority of the current Tastee Diner was built in 2000 as a way to make room for the construction of the former Discovery Channel headquarters.
“As a Silver Spring native myself, I have a deep appreciation for the history and culture of this vibrant community. It is a true privilege to be able to showcase Roadside’s passion for the community by incorporating Tastee Diner’s original dining car into the project,” said Jeff Edelstein, Partner at Roadside Development in a press statement. “It has been a pleasure to get to know Gene over the last year. He has entrusted us with this opportunity and Roadside is honored to be able to breathe new life into the block and continue to grow this dynamic part of Silver Spring’s ever-evolving downtown.”
Redevelopment plans for what will take the diner's place remain somewhat vague, but are said to include a mix of residential and retail offerings along with the exterior incorporation of the approximately 800-square-foot dining car.
“I need to spend more time focusing on my personal life and could no longer operate in this location, but I am elated that the original dining car will be incorporated into the new design," Wilkes said.
While the Silver Spring location has served its last corned beef hash, the Tastee Diners locations in Bethesda and Laurel remain open for business.