South Street lost a major fixture over the weekend, as Hot Diggity owner Keith Garabedian announced the hot dog shop's closure. Though the restaurant only opened in June 2011, it quickly established itself as a neighborhood essential, and the shutter came as a complete surprise to most: The restaurant went dark last week, with posted signs alluding to a family emergency (see photo at right, taken on Friday night). By Saturday, the shop's Facebook page bore an announcement making it official.
In the lengthy and heartfelt statement, Garabedian thanked regular customers, current and past employees, neighbors, and other friends of the restaurant in great detail, concluding, "I am not just losing a restaurant. It is so much more. A restaurant, even your small local hot dog shop, is more than just a few walls, tables, and chairs. It is more than the cooks cooking your favorite meal, waiters and waitresses hustling a bustling. More than a trendy menu, more than the dining room's soundtrack, and more than a few Instagram pictures. This restaurant, to me at least, was a collection of experiences and relationships. [...] These experiences. These relationships. They culminate in what amounts to a whole micro world. Our restaurant, like all restaurants, is a world unto itself existing in a larger world. I will be very sad to see that world disappear." (Read the full letter below.)
News of the shutter inspired an outpouring of emotion on social media, as commenters shared personal memories of the shop, offered continued support, or summed things up with poignant concision:
It is an absolute tragedy that @TheHotDiggity closed.— Allie Ilagan (@allieil) January 17, 2015
Here's Garabedian's full statement on the closure: