Emotional Farewell Linda's Winter Park Diner Closes After 35 Years of Hospitality

Emotional Farewell: Linda’s Winter Park Diner Closes After 35 Years of Hospitality

WINTER PARK, Fla. – On the final day of operations for the beloved Linda’s Winter Park Diner, owner Linda D’Auria found herself working tirelessly behind the counter, struggling to hold back her emotions.

“I’m doing my best to keep it together,” she said, “but it’s tough, especially when I see longtime supporters walking in after 35 years. It’s surreal.”

The diner was filled to capacity, with every seat occupied and a waiting line for tables. The staff worked diligently, preparing comforting dishes for their loyal regulars and warmly welcoming newcomers. Customer Ann Mims expressed her sentiment, saying, “They made me feel so at home. It’s been years, but it always felt like home.”

Linda expressed her gratitude for all the patrons who had supported her throughout the years. She shared, “I’m thankful for each and every one of them. I’m glad I could make a difference and be there for those who came in, especially the women who reached out and shared how welcomed they felt, even when dining alone.”

Among the regulars, Roger Helms spoke fondly of Linda’s Winter Park Diner, considering it an institution that had influenced decisions affecting the growth of central Florida, embodying the spirit of old Orlando.

Having sold the property to a developer, Linda now had plans to write a cookbook. Reflecting on her 35 years in the restaurant business, she acknowledged the challenges and credited her incredible staff for the diner’s success. “Whoever takes over my kitchen team will be thrilled,” she remarked, “and they’d be foolish not to pursue them!”

The devoted staff reciprocated the admiration. Server Deanne Freedland, who had been with Linda’s for a decade, described Linda as an amazing and supportive boss to work for.

As Linda’s Winter Park Diner closed its doors, it left behind a legacy of warmth, community, and delicious comfort food that will forever be cherished by those who experienced its hospitality.

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