Vera’s, the beloved breakfast and lunch diner in the core of Ballard is shutting down at the end of the weekend.
Staff were told recently that a closure was likely, but were informed this morning that their final day would be Sunday, according to Vera’s server Melissa Barnhart*.
“I’ve been trying not to cry all day,” Barnhart told My Ballard. She’s worked at Vera’s for over three years, and says they run with a small staff — just three full-timers and a few staff who work one day a week.
Vera’s has been a staple in Ballard for as long as most locals can remember. Barnhart said she isn’t sure when exactly it opened, but that she knows it was “sometime before 1965”. Owner Nick Polimenakos bought the restaurant in 1985, and has kept it old school — with no computers, they write tickets by hand, and don’t take credit cards. Barnhart said Polimenakos plans to remodel the diner into a pizza restaurant.
“It’s a place where you know everyone who comes in,” she said. “I’m just sad that I don’t have time to say goodbye to my regulars. It’s just such short notice.”
We have a call out to Polimenakos to find out more about his pizzeria plans — we’ll update when we know more.
*An earlier version of this story reported that the staff were “abruptly” told on Friday morning that they would be closing on Sunday. However, Barnhart clarified that the staff had known the closure was coming, but didn’t know when.