Our Neighborhood Icon, Uncle Andy’s In So.Po., Is Closing After 66 Years
The Portland Press Herald reported some sad news, South Portland icon, Uncle Andy's Diner will be closing at the end of the month.
Here's the thing, it was not the food that made Uncle Andy's Diner, it was the people. The people that worked there and the people that ate there. If you sat at the horseshoe-shaped counter you knew you were in for a show because owner Dennis Fogg, loves to entertain. Owning Uncle Andy's is only one of his jobs, Dennis is also a professional comedian and often cracks jokes or does magic tricks. What he's really famous for are his kooky pancakes that he will make on request into just about anything a kid can dream up.
Dennis has owned the diner for 17 years and has been running it with his family. They are all now looking for work, so if you know of a solid gig, give them a call.
It's got to be hard to let go, and they didn't go down without a fight. They've tried doing the curbside pick up but there just wasn't enough business.
When I moved into the neighborhood a million years ago, Uncle Andy's Bakery, which was next door to the diner, was where it was at for me. I just loved the place and I was confused and heartbroken when they closed in 1998. Coffee and a pastry is Sunday morning heaven, and I had never lived near a bakery before. It's like having a swimming pool or owning a pony, it's just so extra to have something warming your hands and tummy straight out of a bakery oven. I thought that I had it good with Toaster Strudel, Uncle Andy's Bakery ruined me for that crap.
A few years back, 2014 I think it was, Uncle Andy's ended up on a show that I would sometimes watch called "Restaurant Impossible" with chef Robert Irvine. He goes into restaurants that are struggling, gives their dining room and menu a makeover in the hope of turning things around. I'm not so much a fan of Irvine, but I was rooting for Uncle Andy's. Dennis actually had to fight with the chef to keep his spectacular, vintage horseshoe shaped counter that is just everything. I mean c'mon dude, it's from 1954 and so cool. Dennis triumphed in the end. When they taped a follow up episode the financials had improved. Just not enough.
We'll miss you, quirky Uncle Andy's, with your mismatched tableware, magic tricks and custom pancakes that made kids feel special. Thank you for hanging in there, the neighborhood wishes you well.