Whatever happened to ... Rossville's historic Roy's Diner still cooking

Whatever happened to ... Rossville's historic Roy's Diner still cooking

April 7th, 2013 by Lindsay Burkholder in Local Regional News

"For Lease" signs can be seen in summer 2011 in the windows of Roy's Restaurant in Rossville.

Photo by John Rawlston/Times Free Press.

Question: Whatever happened to Roy's Diner?

Answer: Rossville's historic diner, which claims to be the Chattanooga area's oldest grill, is back on its feet and thriving.

Owner John T. Arnold Jr. says that since the restaurant reopened in August 2011, its customer base has more than doubled.

"We've been trucking right along," he said.

Arnold recently expanded the menu to include breakfast and is trying to grow a catering service for special orders, as well.

Built in 1949, the diner switched hands a number of times after the original owner died in 1986.

The building stood empty for about five years before Rossville purchased the building in 2010 and sold it to Troy and Wayne Potter as part of an effort to revitalize the downtown area.

But after $275,000 in renovations and six months of business, the Potters had to close the diner's doors yet again.

Just days after they went out of business, Arnold, then the kitchen manager at Southern Star on Signal Mountain, decided to try his hand at resurrecting Rossville's little bit of 1950s charm.

Despite the restaurant's rather rocky past, Arnold has high hopes for the future.

"We're not going anywhere anytime soon," he said. "We're just looking to grow more."

This update was written by staff writer Lindsay Burkholder. Contact her at lburkholder@timesfreepress.com. To suggest a topic for "Whatever happened to," email news@timesfreepress.com.