Community rallies to try to keep Eat-Rite open -

Community rallies to try to keep Eat-Rite open

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ST. LOUIS ( -- Eat-Rite Diner closed Sunday after a fan malfunctioned, and now a last ditch effort is being launched to keep the downtown landmark open.  

Unfortunately, owner Lewis Powers said the fan was just the start of the issues.

“We are getting to the age where we can't do it anymore and we can't hire help,” Powers said. “That is the main thing, the employees.”

Powers has owned the Eat-Rite at Chouteau and 7th for nearly 50 years.

“It's the only job I have ever had in my life," Powers said. “I am too old to work the grill but I do a lot of dishes and lot of backup work.”

When a closed sign appeared on the door of the 24-hour business, and it was later announced the shutdown was for an indefinite amount of time, residents sprung into action.

A GoFundMe was started by the community, as the Eat-Rite has been the go-to spot for many locals and tourists alike.

“We need to preserve things like this because it is a part of our fabric, our history,” said customer Larry Morris. “I know a lot of artists who like to frequent this place after shows."

That attachment has customers reaching out to help any way they can.

“I spoke with part of the family earlier and just said, ‘Look if we as a community can do anything to help, know we are wanting to come around the table and discuss it," said Colleen Bunten.

Powers says the support is humbling.

“In a way it makes us proud that we would be missed that much,” he said.  

Powers said he hasn't made a decision either way right now, saying only that if employees are at the restaurant working, that means they are open.

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