It’s sad but true.
Saturday will be a somber day for grilled cheese connoisseurs, stand-up comedy fans and folks who just like a good diner vibe.
On Saturday morning, Pluto’s staff will work their last brunch shift at the popular diner. They close the doors at 2 p.m., never to be opened again.
“It’s bittersweet for sure,” said a Pluto’s employee when Victoria Buzz reached out earlier this week for confirmation of the closure.
Pluto’s has been at the very heart of the Victoria food scene since the day they first turned on their neon sign in all its glory.
They’ve been open and serving food, beer and smiles for 34 years.
In 1988, owner Brun Dahlquist and his business partner opened the landmark Cook Street location. It was here they adopted the slogan, ‘hottest food from the coolest planet.’
They had the retro vintage neon sign and the drive-in aesthetic at the original location but Dahlquist always believed what made Pluto’s special was the community it had garnered over the decades.
In 2019, it was announced that the diner would be closing to make way for a high-rise condominium project on Cook Street. However, this didn’t stop Dahlquist from keeping Pluto’s alive.
“It’s the fate of downtown Victoria in these times,” Dahlquist told Victoria Buzz in 2019. “At every corner you can see a new condo building going up.”
The diner found its new home in the heart of Quadra Village in 2021.
- Decades old Victoria diner will close to make way for new residential development
- Downtown Victoria’s iconic Pluto’s Diner will have a new home in Quadra Village
“It always comes back to the people,” he told Victoria Buzz in the announcement of the original location’s closure.
“I’ve got third generation families coming in, guys with their young kids saying ‘hey, I used to come here with my dad and now I’ve brought my son’.”
“There actually have been three generations [at a table], a grandfather, dad, and child all eating lunch together and they all have their own memories here.”
Dahlquist also remarked in this interview that he had staff working for him for more than 30 years.
Understandably, the staff, owners and regular patrons are pretty shaken up by this and would prefer not to comment on the matter at this time.
They are grieving a loss that is dear to them. Pluto’s wasn’t simply a restaurant. It was a part of their family.
Even though its doors are now closed for good, Pluto’s legacy will live on in the hearts and minds of all Victorians.