One of Marion’s most unique restaurants is no longer operating.

Moondoggy’s Diner & Soda Fountain, located at 909 North Main St., is closed permanently after 16 years of doing business. The popular 1950s-style eatery was well known for its burgers, baby back ribs, steaks, spaghetti, fries, salad bar, fried chicken, milk shakes and old-fashioned soda fountain. It was also famous for its 1950s diner décor complete with a Rock Ola juke box, old-time vending machines, vintage signs and pictures of Elvis, James Dean and Marilyn Monroe. Children would get their food served in a box that looked like a 1950s car.

Owner Sam Sturgill says he is ready to retire from the business. The signs on the doors at Moondoggy’s thank the customers for their support over the years. The sign along the five lane state that the building is for sale or available for rent.

Sturgill said Wednesday he decided to retire because of problems with finding good and dependable employees who would show up to do their jobs.

“It’s been very hard to find good workers who are dependable,” he said to The McDowell News. “They don’t have any loyalty to stay on the job. I got aggravated with the attitude.”

Moondoggy’s was a popular gathering place and featured a parking lot where owners of classic cars could hold their cruise-ins. In recent years, Sturgill added a separate dining room where groups or civic clubs could hold private meetings.

Sturgill said Wednesday he hopes to find a new owner who can keep the business running.

“I hope somebody will come along and reopen it,” he said.

Get today’s top stories right in your inbox. Sign up for our daily newsletter.

Recommended for you