Longtime Wyandotte County diner closing after building owner sells property

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BONNER SPRINGS, Kan. — People in one Wyandotte County city are upset about the future of a local landmark.

On Monday, operators of the popular Dari Dine restaurant announced they’re closing after the building owner sold the diner’s property without telling the longtime tenants in time. In diner-speak, Sarah Kindred, who owns the Dari Dine, said the weekend phone call came like a cold order of soup.

“He said I had two weeks to get out, and that he’d sold the property,” Kindred said. “He said someone had come to him and made him an offer he couldn’t turn down.”

Kindred, who has operated the Dari Dine since 1997, said John Smith, the building owner, had sold the property to an owner who intended to build a real estate office there.

The diner’s roots stretch back to 1952.

“It’s his property. I understand he has every right to do this. I just wish he would have come to me first and gave me an opportunity after being there for 25 years,” Kindred said.

Smith told FOX4 he’d lost money on the building for years, and in exchange for the short notice, he waived Kindred’s final month’s rent.

Kindred said breaking the news to her four employees on short notice was hard.

“It was a very emotional conversation for me to have with people. I know they’ll all be ok. There’s jobs out there,” Kindred said. “It’s going to be really sad for the whole town.”

Kindred announced the news on the Dari Dine’s Facebook page. One employee leaving the restaurant on Monday afternoon commented that he’s confident he’ll find a new job soon.

The new building owner — a realtor based in Wyandotte County — said she wasn’t aware of the background of the transaction. However, that realtor said she’s been receiving threats online, something Kindred and Smith see as being overreaction by the public.

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