Saying Goodbye To the Metro Diner

Saturday, November 25th 2006, 3:07 pm
By: News On 6

Tulsans have one last chance to say goodbye to a local landmark. The Metro Diner on historic Route 66 will close its doors Sunday.

News on 6 reporter Chris Wright tells us how a group of hot rodders sent the diner out in style.

The neon sign that has attracted passerby’s for years will be turned off for the last time on Sunday. That's when the Metro Diner, a mecca for locals and nostalgic Route 66 travelers, will shut down. It will be bulldozed to make room for improvements to the University of Tulsa, but not before the old diner received a proper send off. More than 40 hot rod owners gathered in the parking lot Saturday afternoon to reminisce.

"We got on the phone, and called some key people in the Tulsa area, and they in turn called their friends, so it's been a group effort to make it work," said car enthusiast Carl Skalnik.

The Metro Diner has been a long time hangout for many of the hot rodders, a place to grab a bite while cruising. With the diner closing its doors Sunday, this will be the last time any hot rods gather in the parking, but the owners of these cars say it's a perfect way to pay tribute to the Metro.

"It's just great these old guys and their hot rods can show up here one last time. It's a sad day really that it's going," said Ted McCord car enthusiast.

The hot rodders worry that classic Route 66 diners like the Metro are a dying breed. Every time one closes, they feel they are losing a part of their past.

"Well, we're losing these all the time. These diners are pretty special to us because it's a good place to hang out," car enthusiast Jim Mickle said.

And while they are losing the Metro, the hot rodders say that won't stop them from pursuing their two favorite pastimes: cruising and greasy food.

"This is what we did back in the late 50s, early 60s. Cruise Tulsa, and went to all the eating establishments and hung out, and we're still doing it," said McCord.

If you are interested in grabbing one last meal at the Metro, it will be open from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m. Sunday.