The Diner on Glenwood South Now Closed

November, 22, 2011, by Jedidiah

The Diner on Glenwood South Now Closed
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We just visited Glenwood South's The Diner about a month ago. Things were shifting towards a new and better menu that didn't cater only to the drunk crowd of Glenwood. The new owners were putting more effort into both the drink selection and the entrees. Unfortuantely, it looks like this new project hasn't worked out so great as The Diner has posted on their website that they closed the doors yesterday (Monday, November 21st) and they will be selling the restaurant. 

The Diner opened in Januray of 2010. It was one of the few places in the downtown area where you could get food 24 hours a day, aside from IHOP and Waffle House of course. Between this and the old Enoteca Vin space next door, it seems nothing can last longer than a year or two. 

What would you like to see replace The Diner in this prime spot on Glenwood South?

Thank you for the support you have shown The Diner.


The dining room will be closed as of Monday, November 21stas the restaurant is in the process of being sold.

The Diner Catering/Delivery Service is still operational at this location until the new owner/operator takes over and we move to our new catering kitchen. Call 919.614.1991 for information or to place a catering or delivery order.


All outstanding Diner gift cards will be honored at Hibernian Restaurant & Pub at 311 Glenwood Avenue (one block south of The Diner).

Should you have questions, please direct them to


Delivery personnel: The Diner is still receiving deliveries for our catering operation. Call 919.835.9010 if you need assistance.

See the The Diner {categories show="257|236|256|96" show_group="9" limit="1"}{category_name}{/categories} page.

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  • Mike
    11/22 11:59 AM

    Their “new” menu was a huge downgrade. The inside eating area was greasy and fly infested usually. Great outdoor spot though. Something will kick ass there.

  • hackles10
    11/22 12:12 PM

    The food just wasn’t that good.  They never captured the feel of a true diner.  I was curious as to how long this would last.  Hopefully something new and better comes into that space!

  • MMI
    11/22 12:33 PM

    Saying that nothing lasts more than a year or two is overstating it a bit.  Let’s not forget that Hard Times Cafe was there for many years, and that MOST restaurant ventures fail within that period of time.

  • Charlotte
    11/22 12:51 PM

    Frankly, The Diner was not a great place to eat. I’ll grant that I only ate there once, and about a year ago, but my experience seems consistent with others’: overpriced, standard menu fare; slow, mealy-mouthed, incompetent service; and yes—flies. Not great. I’m sure whatever’s there next will do much better.

  • Brian
    11/22 12:51 PM

    How they managed to make a cut-rate version of something like Johnny Rockets is beyond me.  I understand that Glenwood isn’t a turn-off for a lot of folks, but I definitely avoid it unless something is really good.  The Diner wasn’t.

  • Lmad
    11/22 12:53 PM

    I went there once and never wanted to go back.  The selection wasn’t great, the food was greasy and the service wasn’t the best - which I could sympathize with considering the drunken crowd they get.  Not surprised at all.

  • Tim L.
    11/22 01:08 PM

    Helios is much better and cheaper.

  • DanFromDetroit
    11/22 01:18 PM

    I’d vote for Hard Times to re-open.  Their Cincinnati chili was always one of my favorites.

  • Hunter
    11/22 01:25 PM

    Went once after it first opened and got chicken fingers appetizer.  It was like $8 and had to be the thinnest, cheapest frozen-reheated chicken fingers I had ever had in my life (for comparison, try the ones at Village Deli in Cameron village, cheaper, 2x the chicken, and insanely better).  Didnt go bank until heard there was a “new menu”.  The new menu didnt look all that different to me and I wanted to play it safe so I got a burger… meh.  Should have followed my instincts and NOT gone back the second time.

    I agree with Tim L., Helios across the street has a MUCH higher quality lunch selection (and somehow still cheaper), despite being a “cafe”.

  • MMI
    11/22 01:26 PM

    I think I’m the only person I know who thought Hard Times kinda sucked.  Then again, I can be pretty picky about chili.

  • MMI
    11/22 01:30 PM

    For what it’s worth, it seems to me that Glenwood South is starting to polarize a bit…in a good way.  The top end seems to be growing to push back the hordes of white sunglasses & Affliction shirt wearing clientele, forcing them farther down towards 606, and farther out towards Mirage and Still Life (*shudder*).  Tobacco Road is pretty nice on days that don’t have an MMA fight, and Hibernian has always kept a decent base.  Now that Joel Lanes’s has weathered the sparse early days and started to attract a growing crowd, I’m feeling cautiously optimistic about what that end of Glenwood can become.

  • Jynxx
    11/22 01:33 PM

    I went a few times, the service was slow to non-existent (To the point of being an hour for food and they never remembered to even bring my drink, much less come back by for me to complain about it), the food was mediocre and it was overpriced to boot. We literally only went because it was right by the bar where we were working a show. No Great Loss, if it hadn’t been for the late night drunks who couldn’t go anywhere else after closing and it’s location I doubt it would’ve lasted as long as it did….

  • sally
    11/22 01:35 PM

    Last time we were there my 11-year-old daughter had to send her omelet back, telling them that the ones she makes are better. The bacon wasn’t any good. And you had to pay extra for grits.

  • greasy spoon
    11/22 01:57 PM

    Dear Waffle House…please take over this space.

  • ptuorto
    11/22 02:40 PM

    Neomonde should open another lunch spot here.

  • Lynne Barbour
    11/22 02:42 PM

    We often went there for breakfast on Sunday mornings…until they changed their menu.  Their original hashbrowns were awesome.  However, they changed them to chunks of potatoes.  No joke, I had 1/2 plate of large chunks of boiled potatoes.  Who wants that?  The floors were always greasy and dirty, tell tale signs that they had not been cleaned up from the late night after-bar crowd.  The highchairs could not have passed a safety inspection.  I had to check 14 of them one morning to find a waistband that wasn’t broken.  I am not sad to see them go - but would really like a family-friendly place to replace The Diner (even if family-friendly is breakfast on Sundays).

  • Barry
    11/22 03:44 PM

    Raleigh needs another pizza place.

  • gtoddh
    11/22 03:45 PM

    Bring back Hard Times!

  • JeffS
    11/22 04:20 PM

    My first experience there was so bad that I had no desire to go back.

  • Jynxx
    11/22 04:24 PM

    Wow, other than the person saying they USED to go there for breakfast until they changed the menu, I haven’t seen anything really positive yet on this or the FB reposts I’ve been reading. I do hope if the investors involved do another restaurant of this nature, they take note…

  • Marky Mark
    11/22 05:18 PM

    Wasn’t this a Niall Hanley joint? Both Hibernian and Solas seem to be pretty well run, but the Diner was just always a mess. A mess with overpriced and mediocre food.

  • JK
    11/22 05:52 PM

    We only went there once, and even then it was only because we were out of other options due to the late hour. The only meal I’ve had that I would classify as worse was one that gave me food poisoning, if that gives any indication of just how bad it was, and I can honestly say I’ve had much better at Waffle House. I can see why they targeted the drunk crowd; you’d have to be blind drunk to make the stuff they served pass for edible.

  • checkers
    11/22 06:01 PM

    I worked there for a while from the start.  I left when I felt it was going down hill.  I will assure you that those floors were cleaned, and I would clean them at 6 in the morning AFTER the drunk crowd.  Maybe you didn’t get your drinks on time and your food took a while, but come on!  It’s 2:30 A.M. and that place turned into a horror scene from the walking dead.  As a server I enjoyed it and I felt like I got used to the interactions with the rude drunk crowd, but you got what you got.  To be honest I am not sad to see the place go…the spot could be used for a better vision.  It just sucks that they hired a brand new staff for a brand new menu and now they are all out of jobs!

  • smitty
    11/22 06:25 PM

    I support local businesses unless they suck.

  • Jynxx
    11/22 06:32 PM

    If there had been a huge crowd when I had my issues I would’ve understood; I’ve been a server. The 3-4 times I went only once was it relatively busy, and that was mostly from the large group we brought in ourselves. Didn’t stop the staff on duty to seem pretty laid back, no rushing, time to sit around and talk with others and customers. Maybe the other decent staff also saw the writing on the wall and left it for the one one’s we ended up with…

  • tvee
    11/22 07:20 PM

    Helios is really no better…perhaps to the hipsters. Next, Solas needs to shudder!

  • reesian
    11/22 09:07 PM

    I have a similar experience as Lynn Barber.  We used to go there every Saturday for breakfast/lunch. We liked the outdoor seating and the menu was acceptable—until they brought in the new management. The food sucked, the wait staff was vocally disgruntled and the new outdoor bar setup was cheap and poorly designed. We left comment cards saying we would not be back—obviously to no affect.  Good riddens.

    The diner concept was a good one and it’s too bad that the owner handed over its management to idiots.

  • Bill
    11/22 11:05 PM

    What is a riddens?

  • gtoddh
    11/23 03:20 AM

    And then your entire argument and/or point of view is rendered moot…

  • Elliot Acosta
    11/23 08:41 AM

    I think this concept would’ve worked if they had better product. I am still convinced that Raleigh could handle a 24/7 place

  • KK
    11/23 08:53 AM

    I vote for a yakiniku place to go in there:

  • RaleighRob
    11/23 09:23 AM

    I like the idea of a late night diner there, but I just don’t think it was done right….

    Here’s an idea:  Call up the people who run ELMO’S DINER in Carrboro & Durham, and tell them there’s a location in Raleigh perfect for a third location! 
    I guarantee you if Elmo’s folks had been running a diner there, it would NOT be closing down!!

  • KK
    11/23 10:28 AM

    Elmo’s Diner in Durham has gone way downhill over the years.  It’s only by the grace of college students they’ve stayed open imo.

  • John
    11/23 10:31 AM

    Contrived restaurant, meh menu, and crappy service. No big loss.

  • ncmyk
    11/23 11:41 AM

    i would love a place that sold fritos pie - bring back the hard times!

  • christopher b
    11/23 11:42 AM

    Now closed 24 hours a day

  • Arthur
    11/23 04:22 PM

    Went there once…and only once. Most places on the Southern part of Glenwood are overpriced with awful food.

  • Ben
    11/23 09:00 PM

    Ideas: karaoke bar, jazz n blues club, pizza place, or skyline chili (although impossible because they won’t do business in NC, dammit!).

  • Jeff S
    11/23 09:50 PM

    Really? The best you can hope for is a chain chili joint?

    As for pizza, the best place in town is just down the street, and the area has more than enough inferior options already.

    Sadly, “glenwood south” is more about themes than quality food.

  • Jess
    11/23 11:57 PM

    i miss hard times cafe… :(

  • DPK
    11/25 01:21 PM

    Went there a couple times when nothing else was open.  Didn’t really leave a great impression on me.  Never really seemed all that clean and I did see the flies as others have mentioned.

    IHOP should move here when they get evicted from their current Hillsborough Street location due to construction.

  • Boris Balkan
    11/26 09:17 AM

    It’s a shame. The first time I went there the food was really good; the second time it was terrible and the service was unbelievably bad.

    However, someone in the previous comments mentioned it should have been a more “family friendly” place. I AM SICK OF “FAMILY FRIENDLY”...and hipsters; that’s all Raleigh caters to anymore.

    I’m moving to Cleveland.

  • Raleigh Raised
    11/27 01:28 AM

    Bye, Boris.

  • Adam
    11/29 09:00 PM

    I went to the diner twice for Sunday brunch. Enjoyed it both times. I can’t say it for the average day of the week.

  • Mark
    11/29 09:18 PM

    This would be a great spot for a Bojangles—their food is great at all hours, and there isn’t another Bojangles close by.  Tell me you haven’t seen a Bojangles that wasn’t busy for most of the morning

  • Brad Double-Dizzle
    12/01 09:39 AM

    24 Hour GREEK/AMERICAN/ITALIAN Diner. There is one in Chattanooga that would be PERFECT for this location.

    Check it out:

  • Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives
    12/01 02:55 PM

    How about a Korean BBQ? or an El Pollo Loco?

  • L B
    12/01 05:40 PM

    +1 Korean BBQ - but I want that owner off the BOAT.

  • Khadija
    02/08 05:48 PM

    You can iastnll your own affiliate management software on your web site.Like idevaffiliate or postaffiliatepro etc..

  • Rob Westergard
    02/20 06:03 PM

    Yea, I agree with most folks.  The food was not all that good.  I used to own a few diners in Delaware in 90’s and this was nothing like it.  I wish that we had a “real” diner here ...  good ole greek family..  can’t find it anywhere…

  • Angelo
    04/19 04:00 PM

    Dear Raleigh, why I love you so is for the wonderful polpee you attract. You are situated in the midst of three prominent universities, harboring a plethora of prominent national and international companies, located between the ocean and the mountains. You contain an eclectic crowd from all over the world and all walks of life. Yet, you are a hidden jewel of East Coast, still having an rural, laid back feel to your everyday life! One of a kind!

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