SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – The nation’s last remaining Lyon’s Restaurant closed its doors here in Sacramento. CBS13 was there as customers and wait staff said good-bye.

It is a sad day for customers and employees of this dining icon: Lyon’s Restaurant in downtown Sacramento.

“I met my husband here. For four years he came and was drinking coffee,” said Suzie Moyo, a Lyon’s employee for 21 years.

The restaurant has been open since 1990.

“It is sad because it is a great 24 hour place that people can go to that is safe,” said Rosett Ngyn, a customer.

Some employees have been there since the beginning. Many say they were shocked when they heard the news Lyon’s would close. A Mel’s Diner will re-open in its place.

“I am surprised because there are very few 24 hour places in Sacramento and it’s the last Lyon’s. I am surprised it is closing,” said a customer.

For one couple, the restaurant was more than just a 24/7 eatery.

“My wife and I had our very first date here at Lyon’s. After a concert we came here for apple pie, so it’s a special place for us,” said Tom Robertson, a customer.

While some employees are worried they could be out of a job.

“They talked to us about two months ago that they are going to do a remodel that is the only thing we know. We don’t know exactly what is going to happen to us,” said Moyo.

Others are hoping the new restaurant will hire the dedicated Lyon’s staff for their grand opening.

While many gave hugs and said their good-byes, one thing is for sure: This favorite eatery will never be forgotten.

“We have almost the same waitress every time and we know her and it’s really quite personal,” said Ngyn.

Mel’s Diner is expected to open in its place two months from now. It will employ 60 people.

State authorities say Lyon’s of California still owes $4 million in back taxes. The current owners contend the debt belongs to the previous owners.

Comments (3)
  1. Samuel Ruacho says:

    This place has declined in service and quality of food. In addition , the prices have sky rocketed. I remember paying almost $3.00 for a cup of OLD, stale coffee. Even when requested,new coffee was not brewed. I often heard management make anti-American remarks (They are South Asian), and boldly state to Jon, former server,that the focus is SAVING money not quality. That is clearly evident. Management are a disgrace to South Asians. My close friends who are South Asian run and own eateries that are clean, serve quality fresh food and are dignant to their employees. They also emphasis stellar customer care! Glad Lyons is gone! IHOP will opening eatery on P and 30th in April 2012. 🙂

  2. Samuel Ruacho says:

    What lies!!! I know previous owner is a honest man who geniunely cared for his store and employees. He was also very resonsible. I would not be surprised if the current owners owe the back taxes; they do not seem to be very responsible. I was told that current owners were taken the labor board for withholding pay from employees for nearly two weeeks. Disgraceful!!!

  3. me says:

    interesting. there is a lyons in santa rosa. looks like it is the same chain.

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