Owners say Lebanon Diner is closing

  • Karen Liot Hill moves former New York Gov. George Pataki's breakfast plate to another table to encourage him to speak with more guests during an event at her Lebanon Diner in Lebanon, N.H., on Monday, Feb. 2, 2015. The owners of the downtown eatery and frequent campaign pit stop announced Saturday, June 7, 2020, that it would close permanently. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Valley News file photograph — James M. Patterson

Staff report
Published: 6/6/2020 2:30:52 PM
Modified: 6/6/2020 10:26:25 PM

LEBANON — The Lebanon Diner, which has fed Upper Valley residents, tourists and campaigning politicians on the Lebanon Mall for almost a decade, is closing permanently, its owners said Saturday.

“We are sad to announce that the Diner will not survive the COVID-19 shutdown. We join the ranks of other restaurants in the Upper Valley who also will not be reopening,” Andy Hill and Karen Liot Hill wrote in a Facebook post on Saturday.

“Eight years for a restaurant is a long life, and we are proud to have been part of the downtown Lebanon community for almost a decade. The best part of the Lebanon Diner is the connections we have made with all of you.”

The diner suspended operations indefinitely in mid-March because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Andy Hill, a Lebanon native, ran the diner full time, and Karen Liot Hill, a longtime city councilor, had gone to part-time status there in recent years after also helping launch it. The couple separated three years ago but continued running the diner as a team, and their daughters, Marina Liot and Zoe Hill, also worked there.

It was a regular stop on the presidential campaign trail. U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., lunched on blueberry pancakes there in November 2015 after participating in a Veterans Day observance in downtown Lebanon.

And U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.; U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.; and former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, a Republican, also visited last year.

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