The question looming for many in the small town of Paint Lick isn’t what’s for dinner….it’s where to get dinner.
“I use it just about every day. I hate that it’s burnt up,” said customer Darrel Cain.
Cain was more than a regular at Rick’s Diner. He says he ate there every day…several times a day.
“I don’t know what any of us will do. The closest store is 10 miles (away),” he said.
Fire destroyed much of the restaurant that has changed names and owners several times since it opened decades ago. Many consider it a landmark.
“Everybody gathered here every morning and afternoon…a lot of farmers. (They) depend on this little store here, this restaurant,” said Larry Nicely, who runs L and M Auto Service across from the diner, and eats there frequently.
Firefighters say the inside is a total loss, and they say it will have to be rebuilt. But some of the people in this town say they’re determined enough to do just that.
“Because I couldn’t imagine it not being here. We have to have something. And this is all we’ve got down here,” said Rashell Blair, a former employee.
Rick’s Diner was known for home cooked food but people say the employees treated everyone in town like one big family.
“This was the place we met everyday. To show what we were doing and all that. That will be the saddest part right there,” said Cain.