Linda’s Winter Park Diner closes its doors

The diner permanently closed its doors on Sunday

click to enlarge Linda’s Winter Park Diner closes its doors
Linda's Winter Park Diner/Facebook
Linda's Winter Park Diner,  a landmark local restaurant since the 1950s, closed its doors for the final time on Sunday, nearly two months after the owner announced its forthcoming closure.

The iconic eatery was known for its comforting array of homemade, old-fashioned diner fare, as well as the memories that local regulars made and shared along the way, from the opening of its doors decades ago to its final days on Fairbanks Avenue in Winter Park.

Owner Linda D'Auria, keeper of the diner for the past 35 years, did not initially disclose the reason for the restaurant's planned closure when it was first announced in early June, but the 67-year-old recently told News 6 she's looking to retire and spend more time with her family.

“My sister passed away unexpectedly on May 1st and I think everything just lined up after that," D'Auria told News 6. "She was telling me for a while, saying, ‘How
long are you going to keep working? You’ve been tied down, you need to live your life.'"

Linda's was a staple for many customers and staff alike. Some of the diner employees had worked there for more than 20 years, serving up homestyle meals. D'Auria has reportedly sold the building to a developer, with future plans for the property site unknown at this time. The mother and grandmother says she's helped some of her employees find new work, telling News 6 she "couldn't have lasted 35 years" without them.

Linda's Winter Park Diner placed third in Orlando Weekly's 2021 Best of Orlando Reader's Poll for Best Diner, and according to its regulars, will be sorely missed.

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McKenna Schueler

News reporter for Orlando Weekly, with a focus on state and local government, workers' rights, and housing issues. Previously worked for WMNF Radio in Tampa. You can find her bylines in Creative Loafing Tampa Bay, In These Times, Strikewave, and Facing South among other publications.
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