Cooper Station Restaurant abruptly closes in Winfield Township
The landmark Cooper Station Restaurant has abruptly shut down.
The popular restaurant along Route 356 in Winfield Township posted a closing notice Monday on its Facebook page.
“Effective immediately, Cooper Station Restaurant will be closed indefinitely. Thank You, Management,” the notice read.
The signs posted on the locked double doors at the restaurant offered no explanation for the sudden closing. The signs instructed customers with gift cards to contact management at 724-353-2100 to discuss reimbursement.
A phone call placed to the restaurant Tuesday revealed a recorded message confirming the restaurant was closed.
Locals of the eatery well known by its authentic red caboose parked outside expressed surprise.
“It’s a shock — the closing,” said frequent customer Deanna Osche, a weekly customer at Cooper Station. “I’ve been dining here with my family since the week they opened.”
Osche said she noticed a decline in customers over the last few months, and that several staff changes had occurred along with a reduction in the number of employees.
“It’s sad to see something that was once doing so well go down the tubes,” Osche said. “I missed seeing all of the staff that knew us by name — it’s a shame. There were no rumors of a closing but they did start offering free kid’s meals to customers — never a good sign — but I didn’t expect them to just close and put it up for sale.”
A large digital sign outside of Cooper Station advertises the property is closed and for sale, but a real estate listing is not yet available.
According to current online real estate records, the current owners are Lora C. Rothen and Lora L. Saiber, said local real estate agent Joe Weltner of Coldwell Banker Fox Chapel.
“Currently there is no listing — at this moment — of the property on the West Penn Multi-List,” Weltner said Tuesday.
He said the property was previously listed with an asking price of $799,000 from July 8, 2013, until exactly one year later — and was taken off the market.
The owners did not immediately return a call for comment.
Joyce Hanz is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.