Lindy's

Lindy’s Diner in Keene was sold Monday.

The new owners of Lindy’s Diner in Keene say they plan to reopen soon under the same name.

Carroll Stubbs and Jayne Stacy, both of Keene, bought the Gilbo Avenue diner from Charles R. “Chuck” Criss and Nancy M. Petrillo Monday afternoon.

The diner closed abruptly Sunday, with a note on the door thanking customers for their support.

Stubbs said he and Stacy plan to make some improvements while the restaurant is closed, including equipment upgrades, fresh coats of paint, repairs and polishing. They hope to open within a few weeks.

In the spring, he said, the goal is to add more seating to the patio, too.

Lindy’s will retain its name, he said: “It’s an iconic symbol.”

The diner will cut back to breakfast and lunch, eliminating dinner. The new owners also have minor menu changes in mind, maintaining what Stubbs described as “good ol’ American fare” while incorporating some of the food from Stacy’s past venture, Flip Side Grille in Fitzwilliam, which has closed. Stacy pointed out that she ran that restaurant on her own, so she’s eager to have a business partner with Lindy’s.

All of the staff have been invited to reapply for their positions at the diner, and the owners said they met with several of the employees Monday.

“We want the staff back,” Stubbs said. “We want to bring them back, we’re just hoping to meet their needs.”

Criss and Petrillo said the earliest they spoke to their employees about the sale was Friday because negotiations with the buyers were ongoing.

There wasn’t enough staff available to open the diner Sunday after the announcement was made, Criss said, so the owners decided it would be best to close.

Petrillo said she and Criss, both of Keene, have been mulling over whether to retire for the past few years.

“We’re 71, so it’s time to sell,” Criss said.

With adult children across the country, he said, they both want to spend more time with their grandkids going forward.

Criss and Petrillo bought the diner in 2003 from Arietta and George Rigopoulos, who had owned the eatery for nearly three decades. Timoleon N. “Lindy” Chakalos opened the 60-seat diner in 1961 before selling it to the Rigopouloses in 1974 and later starting Timoleon’s Family Restaurant on Main Street.

Her throat catching, Petrillo underscored how much the staff and especially the diner’s loyal customers have meant to them over the years, and how much they will be missed.

“We are just so grateful that they supported us and have made us a successful business,” she said.

Criss and Petrillo bought Lindy’s Diner in 2003 for $188,000. An incorrect price was given in a story Monday.

The Sentinel regrets the error.

Sierra Hubbard can be reached at 355-8546 or at shubbard@keenesentinel.