CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Great news for Corpus Christi! Sandi's Diner will open at their new location, the former Hamlin Pharmacy, on Monday, Sept. 26.
After more than 60 years, Hamlin Fountain and Gifts, which originally opened as Hamlin Pharmacy with a full diner and gift shop, closed on May 7.
The original owner, Karl Arnold, died in 2021, passing the business down to his daughter Karen.
“It’s very rare to have a multi-generational business that lasts as long as this one did, I mean it’s been going 60, 65 years at this point," the owner of the building, David Loeb, said. "She had been thinking about retiring and what to do with the business even before COVID and I think she just finally made the decision that it was time to retire and enjoy her life and enjoy her grandkids."
Sandi Clark, the owner of Sandi's Diner, still open at Ayers and Santa Fe, soon after signed a lease for the old diner.
"I found out that Karen was retiring and the minute I stepped in here, I just felt like I needed to take over that legacy and honor her and Jessie and her father," Clark previously told 3NEWS.
Clark said she has big plans for the space, which include adding to its existing history while rushing in a new wave of innovation.
"I'm also coming in and I'm going to take this entire space and work off of the soda fountain and make this a big beautiful soda fountain," Clark said.
On Thursday, a social media post from Sandi's Diner gave the people of Corpus Christi the news they have been waiting for: the diner has an opening date.
"After a long awaited return, Sandi's Diner is opening it doors at Hamlin Center. As we do, we beg your patience. We aren't quite done growing, but we couldn't keep you waiting any longer. So patience with our new waitstaff, new space, and expanded menu is greatly appreciated," the post said.
The diner now also has a waiting area for what is sure to be a busy opening day.
"We are thrilled to have had such an out-pouring of love these many months," the post said. "We think it will be worth the wait! And speaking of wait, we are anticipating sometimes being full enough to need a waiting area (so, we added one!)."
Sandi said she also plans to add a second soda fountain to a currently blank wall and use some of the old souvenir shop space for a bakery and a coffee bar.
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