Crowds packed a local diner Tuesday, not for the food, but to say goodbye to a Tulsa icon. Loyal customers of the Metro Diner turned out to take some memories home.
News on 6 reporter Heather Lewin says the main dining room at the Metro Diner is no stranger to a lunchtime crowd, but this day it wasn't burgers and fries for sale. Instead of ordering from the kitchen, customers were buying the kitchen itself. It wasn't just equipment up for auction, but the heart and soul of the Metro as well.
"I remember going to flea markets all over Oklahoma, Texas, collecting a lot of this memorabilia," former owner Mark Davis said.
Davis opened the restaurant in 1984, but he wanted a family feeling that stretched back decades earlier.
"It's sad, it's bittersweet we had a lot of fun here, a lot of hard work here, saw people get engaged here, a lot of children grow up," Davis said.
All under the watchful eyes of Marilyn, Elvis and James Dean.
"Well, there's a lot of nostalgic stuff, it's kind of an era that's gonna go by and I hate to see it go, but that's the way life is," customer Carol Davis said.
Some buyers were there for more practical purposes.
"They had a margarita machine. We kinda wanted that."
Flamingoes anyone? Pink, wicker, ceramic and more went on the auction block. Even a roll of Route 66 toilet paper.
Davis was touched by all the attention.
"I'm sad to see it go; I was at a store recently and saw a metro diner in one of the snow globes so I guess it became an institution."
It's a chance to take home a piece of the past, like the picture hanging up over your favorite booth, Metro customers showed up for one final special order to go.
"It's very sad and it makes me angry because these, establishments like this cannot be replaced," said customer Raedean Aguirre
But the past is giving way to progress, already at the Metro's back door. So finally, there was only one thing left to do.
"I came to say goodbye," Davis said.