BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Let’s just say that rumors of his death have been greatly exaggerated. The iconic “Happy Days” style soda fountain in the Woolworth Building in downtown Bakersfield is not closing permanently.
Despite what you may have heard around town or read on social media, the Woolworth’s lunch counter, believed to be the last such restaurant in America, is not going away for good. But it’s probably closing temporarily.
Last October, when the building was sold, Jeremy Trammell, who has operated the vintage restaurant for 12 years, announced his intention to return his spatula later this year. And it does exactly that, as promised.
Trammell will stop at the end of this week and that saddened some of the diners we met on Tuesday.
Bakersfield resident Martha Lawson said she had been coming to Woolworths since 1955 with her grandparents even before she moved to Bakersfield in 1968. She said the news of its temporary closure was very sad.
“I used to work at the phone company and we all walked around here to eat and it was our favorite place to have lunch,” Lawson said.
The building’s new owners, the Moneywise Guys, a local financial services company, have always said they intend to keep the restaurant exactly as it is. Even if it’s with a new operator. Now that Trammell is gone, they’re looking for one.
There is a catch. The Moneywise Guys plan to embark on a major renovation of the three-story 19th-century landmark in August. They will therefore have to close the restaurant for an indefinite period, probably several months.
The new tenant would run the restaurant for six months, close for a while, and if all parties are happy, they would return when the building’s first-floor renovation is complete.
If you’re looking for a business opportunity involving burgers and nostalgia, call Moneywise Guys at 661-847-1000.
Just to clarify that the lunch counter at the Woolworth is not, repeat, permanently closed.