PALM DESERT, Calif. - After 50 years, Denny's could serve up it's last "Grand Slam", at it's popular location on the corner of Highway 111 and Monterey. Lease negotiations are underway and at this point it's not clear whether or not the restaurant will be open much longer. It's become more than just a place to eat, for many desert residents. There's no shortage of loyal customers willing to share how sad they are about the possibility. Connie Menella of Palm Desert says, "I'll have to stay home to eat!"
We went to the restaurant to find out more, but the Julie Arguin, the General Manager declined to go on camera and offered us a statement. She says, "We are open and lease negotiations are pending. Right now, we have no plans to close." Arguin says a "for lease" sign went up about two months ago, but she's hoping for the best outcome for her 34 employees. Some of them have been serving up hungry customers 24-7, for twenty years.
For Cheryl and John Harrison it's been a father-daughter breakfast tradition, for a long time. John says, "We've been coming here for years and years.... Probably 30 years or more."
John says he's not happy about the alternative, for the most important meal of the day, if it does in fact close. "I'll have to eat at home and that's horrible. This is my daughter and she doesn't know how to cook!" Cheryl says, "I don't want to have to cook for him!"
Saxophonist, Al Apodaca meets with a group of musicians, on the first Tuesday of every month at Denny's, something he's done for 12 years. He says. "I think we call ourselves the "unemployed musicians of the valley!"
Being on a first-name basis with the staff, he's hoping the place sticks around for a while. Apodaca says, "Norma the waitress takes real good care of us."
Also known as "America's dine,r that's always open", it's hoping to stay that way.