After 53 Years, the Bel-Loc Diner is Closing to Make Way for a Starbucks

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Photo via Google Street View

After half a century in business, Parkville’s Bel-Loc Diner is shutting down.

“We’d like to announce that our last day of operation will be Sunday March 26, 2017,” the operators wrote on Facebook. “Thank you very much to our loyal customers over the last 53 years. We couldn’t have done it without you. We hope that you can join us for a meal or two prior to closing. Congratulations Mr. Bill on your retirement. It’s well deserved.”

The announcement marks the apparent end of a preservation battle involving the diner, which became a community gathering spot as well as a suburban landmark since it first opened in 1964.

Known for its metal-clad exterior, vintage interior and large neon signs, the diner stood out at the corner of Joppa Road and Loch Raven Boulevard, but it didn’t have any sort of landmark designation or protection, and owner Bill Doxanas was looking to retire.

Baltimore County’s Design Review Panel last year approved a proposal to replace the building with a newly constructed Starbucks branch. Preservation Maryland mounted an effort to persuade Starbucks to preserve the existing building and convert it to a Starbucks, but was not successful.

“My parents and I have been dining at the Bel-Loc for at least 40 years,” wrote Theresa Bents Meyers on Facebook. “I’m going to miss my turkey club sandwiches.”

“Family vacations at the beach started with breakfast here for many, many years,” recalled Phil Golden. “Thanks and happy retirement!”

“Another iconic landmark says goodbye,” lamented Kathy Kreisel. “Everyone who ever lived or grew up in that area has a special memory.”

Ed Gunts

Ed Gunts

Ed Gunts writes Urban Landscape on Mondays in the Baltimore Fishbowl. He is the former architecture critic for The Baltimore Sun.
Ed Gunts

3 COMMENTS

  1. Would love to know why Starbuckles refused to preserve existing property? Would be something inviting to sucker in people to have their over priced gut wrenching liquid they call coffee.
    So sad, Luskins, Orchard Inn, Pearson’s and now Bel-Loc. What’s a person to do?

  2. I can’t stand Starbucks as it is and now we are losing a place of history for one! I drive by Bel Loc Diner everyday and the lot is not big enough to handle the traffic that will try to get to that little corner lot. I wish someone could’ve done something to stop the destructive force that is Starbucks!!

    • Starbucks, Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Twitter, Donald Trump – there’s really no explaining U.S. citizenry’s preference for complete crap. That said, the last time I ate at Bel-Loc diner, whatever I ordered ought to have been called ‘salt lick’.

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