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Monday, October 19, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Former Knight’s Diner undergoing renovations

UPDATED: Fri., Oct. 18, 2019

Knight's Diner in Hillyard in 2012. It closed in July 2019, but new owners recently received permits for renovations. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)
Knight's Diner in Hillyard in 2012. It closed in July 2019, but new owners recently received permits for renovations. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)

The former Knight’s Diner, now under new ownership, is undergoing renovations to upgrade its kitchen and add a food prep area.

Fettig Five LLC, whose principals include George Fettig – an early owner of several Zip’s Drive-In locations – filed plans in August to renovate the former diner at 2909 N. Market St., according to permits filed with the city.

Fettig Five LLC purchased the site for $100,000 in July, according to the Spokane County Assessor’s Office.

The Spokane Historic Preservation Office approved plans to extend a portion of the 657-square-foot Pullman rail car to accommodate a new kitchen and add a 1907 Northern Pacific caboose to house a food prep area.

Fettig Five LLC also indicated plans to modify the interior seating configuration of the original rail car, to remove a section of the counter area and add booths, rehabilitate windows, repaint the exterior as well as add handicap ramps and a door.

Coeur d’Alene-based Chris & Pat Inc. is the project contractor.

Knight’s Diner closed in July after more than 37 years of serving breakfast and lunch in north Spokane. Owner Vicki Green told The Spokesman-Review in July the restaurant would be purchased by a well-known local investor who will continue to serve breakfast at the diner, but with a different menu.

Permits filed with the city did not specify the restaurant concept. Fettig did not respond to a request for comment.

The rail car that housed Knight’s Diner is on Spokane’s Register of Historic Places. It was built in 1906 and served the Northern Pacific Railroad as car number 988 on the “Yellowstone Park Line” before it was retired to the Northern Pacific Yards in Spokane Valley, according to a historic register nomination document.

The car was pressed into service as a classroom for soldiers during World War II.

Jack Knight, a former headwaiter at the Davenport Hotel, purchased it for $600 in 1949 and hired Beadmore Transfer to move the rail car to Division and Jackson streets. He renovated the interior into counters and stools and opened Knight’s Diner in 1949.

Knight operated the diner for five years. Ownership of the diner changed hands several times before the Greens purchased it in 1982 and moved the rail car to its current location in the early 1990s.

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