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Seattle's flight-themed Randy's Restaurant forced to close after nearly 40 years

The longtime diner, near the Museum of Flight, is a Seattle institution, especially among aviation enthusiasts and veterans.

Randy’s Restaurant in Tukwila is a beloved local diner for many reasons. For more than 39 years, Randy’s has been serving up warm food and plenty of history just south of Boeing Field. 

One customer remarked that it feels "closer to 80 years, since Randy’s has been open around the clock and seven days a week forever.” 

The owners of this retro-style diner are husband and wife Richard and Lucia Roadenizer. Richard said he started with a fried chicken restaurant before Randy’s flight-themed diner took off. 

The menu has your typical all-American favorites and the decor is a celebration of aviation history. Richard himself is a retired Army Ranger and Air Force veteran who finds himself surrounded by a massive collection of artifacts and photos. Perhaps that’s why so many consider Randy’s as their go-to spot for the diner experience. 

“Some people come here for breakfast, lunch and dinner most days of the week,” he said. 

Unfortunately, the harsh realities of the global pandemic have left the couple with little choice but to close their beloved business. The area was once thriving with mill workers and other industries that are long gone. 

The next-door Museum of Flight was a major boost to business and Randy’s was the go-to for local workers and museum visitors -- until the pandemic started. 

“When the virus hit, the museum closed and the workers around here started to disappear," Richard said. "Just not many people around anymore.” 

Lucia still works behind the counter and says it will be very emotional for her to suddenly say goodbye to loyal customers they’ve seen grow up in their booths. 

The couple announced their closure on Facebook and there’s a small sign by the cash register that lets customers know they will be closing on Sunday, Nov. 15. 

Now a slow and steady migration of customers are making an effort to visit for a meal this week. Many are requesting comfort foods like the stack of pancakes they’ve eaten for 20 years. 

There's still time for a first or final visit to Randy's. The diner will be open until Sunday.