Land's End Mainstay Gets New Lease on Life

By Matt Baume
|  Thursday, Oct 21, 2010  |  Updated 12:21 PM PDT
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Historians can breathe a little easier now that Louis' Diner is off the hook.

Operated by the Hontalas family for nearly three-quarters of a century, the restaurant is perched on a cliff at Land's End, where diners can gaze out over the Pacific Ocean and the remains of the Sutro Baths. Because it's technically on federal land, the lease had to be put out to bid by other vendors to ensure that taxpayer resources were being efficiently allocated.

But thanks to a flurry of support and a competitive bid that includes maintenance and accessibility upgrades, the restaurant has won its bid. It was backed by thousands of signatures, many gathered at a "Friends of Louis’ Diner" event. Many people have been stopping by the remote diner for decades.

Supervisor Eric Mar, who never met a proclamation he didn't like, went so far as to issue a proclamation supporting the continuation of the lease.

As a result, the National Parks Service has given the owners a new 10-year lease on the site. As a bonus, getting to the site just got a little easier, too: the Great Highway has been re-opened for car traffic.

Don't all rush down to the diner at once, though. They'll need to close for four months to conduct their upgrades. Get ready for a grand re-opening sometime in the spring.

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