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Shyrl Rafus is putting out feelers online for a new location for her diner

This after the fate of her current building in West Lebanon became unclear last week, when it was purchased at auction by the co-owners of the nearby Oriental Wok Express. At the time of the auction on July 20, Stephen Ross and Chang Lin “expressed interest in keeping (Shyrl’s Diner) as a tenant,” the Valley News’ Matt Hongoltz-Hetling reported.

“I talked to her earlier today and she said she would be willing to stay on depending on who bought the building,” Ross said after the auction. “That’s fine with me.”


But Rafus was noncommittal about what might happen after the diner’s current lease expires in March 2018.


“We have someone who would like to have me check out another location” in Lebanon, she said (on July 20).


Owner of Shyrl’s Diner, Shyrl Rafus sits with her great-grandson Brayden Hammond, 4, while auctioneer James St. Jean auctions off the building her diner is in on July 20, 2017 in West Lebanon, N.H. Kaleigh Wagar her granddaughter is on the phone taking bids for the auction from Stacey Thomson, a customer at the diner. (Valley News – Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.


Shyrl Rafus’ original Facebook post seeking thoughts on a new spot is private, but Valley News business reporter John Lippman confirmed its veracity with her when he stopped by the diner today. Another person, Sandy Horne, has reposted the question on the Upper Valley VT/NH Facebook page and garnered quite a few ideas and suggestions, including:

  • The former Polka Dot restaurant building in White River Junction.
  • Mechanic Street in Lebanon.
  • Everything But Anchovies‘ old location.
  • Glen Road Plaza.
  • Next to Abby’s Closet (down the street from the Valley News!).

Rafus told Lippman she’d like to stay along the Main Street corridor or spots nearby, such as White River Junction, because that’s where her customers are.

And then, of course, there’s always the possibility that she will end up staying in the spot she’s been in for the past 12 years, building a following of steadfast regulars along the way.


Breaking diner news: Co-owners of Oriental Wok Express buy West Leb building that is home to Shyrl’s

The owners of Oriental Wok Express — probably better known as the Chinese food restaurant located inside a gas station in West Leb — have purchased the building that houses Shyrl’s Diner. Read more.

Owner of Shyrl’s Diner, Shyrl Rafus works behind the counter on July 12, 2017 in West Lebanon, N.H. Eating their lunch at the counter are Bob Olcott, of West Lebanon, left, Michael Mills, of Plainfield, N.H., and Stacey Thomson, of Orford, N.H. (Valley News – Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

RELATED: Diner Owner Fights to Stay Put as Building Goes to Sale (from the Sunday Valley News)