Staff members of The Putney Diner stand in front of the restaurant Saturday. The diner will reopen Jan. 10. (Howard Weiss-Tisman/Reformer)
Staff members of The Putney Diner stand in front of the restaurant Saturday. The diner will reopen Jan. 10. (Howard Weiss-Tisman/Reformer)
Monday December 31, 2012

PUTNEY -- Robin Wright never wanted to close The Putney Diner.

Wright lives in Maine and she purchased the property at 82 Main St. a few years ago.

Wright's sister Heather worked there, and so did their mother, Doreen, but over the last few years they have had to back away a little from running the popular diner, which is open seven days a week.

Earlier this month Robin Wright announced that she would be selling the building and closing the restaurant unless someone came along with a good plan to keep it open.

This weekend, Wright heard the plan she was hoping to hear.

After meeting Friday afternoon with Amanda Streeter, an employee of the diner, Wright has decided to lease the restaurant to her and the diner will reopen later this month.

The restaurant closed its doors on Dec. 23, and Wright was cleaning up and getting ready to move on when she and Streeter came up with an agreement to keep it open.

"When we had the story in the paper, a lot of people came in and talked about how much they would miss the diner if it wasn't open," Wright says. Things went great with Amanda and this is great news."

Streeter's mother retired and her sister's two-year-old child has taken up too much of her time to allow her to work full time at the restaurant.

Business was off a little bit, Wright said, but if her family wanted to continue running the diner she probably would have stayed open.

She said there has been an uptick in business since announcing the restaurant would close, and now Wright says Streeter is going do what she can to keep it open.

"She is going to take the ball and run with it," said Wright. "People don't want to see the diner close. "

Wright has worked out an arrangement to lease the business to Streeter, and Streeter is going to reopen the Main Street restaurant on Jan. 10.

She has the same staff, and for now will offer the same menu and be open during the same hours - seven days a week from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m.

"We're just cleaning up now and changing things a little bit inside. People love it here and we want to open for them," said Streeter. "I know it's a big undertaking, but I'm excited. I'm looking forward to it."

Streeter lives in Putney and has worked at the diner for about six years.

She's worked in the kitchen and has worked as a waitress.

Even before Wright announced that she would be selling the restaurant Streeter says she thought about what it would be like to run it.

"I pondered it a little," she said. "When Robin said she was thinking about closing it, I couldn't see it happening, and then once I heard she was serious I decided to ask her what I could do to keep it open."

Wright and Streeter met Friday afternoon and worked out a lease arrangement.

Wright said she is going to work with Streeter and put more effort into developing the other rental spaces in the property now that she is not going to sell it.

"Everyone loves it here. Putney wouldn't be the same without it open," said Streeter. "Everyone who works here is amazing. We want to pull this together and get it done."

Howard Weiss-Tisman can be reached at 802-254-2311, ext. 279, or hwtisman@reformer.com. You can follow him on Twitter @HowardReformer.