More than a year after it closed, people still stop by the Red Oak Restaurant in Binghamton hoping to get a cup of coffee or a good meal.

In recent weeks, customers of the iconic eatery noticed the "For Sale" sign outside the Front Street building was gone. That started speculation that the Red Oak might be about to reopen.

Julianne Ludka, who operated the diner with her partner Michael Kapogiannatos for more than three decades, said she's often thought about getting the place going again.

But Ludka said as much as she'd like to do that, she can't without Michael, who died last July.

Jullianne Ludka inside the now-closed Red Oak Restaurant on January 28, 2022. Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News
Jullianne Ludka inside the now-closed Red Oak Restaurant on January 28, 2022. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)

A tour of the restaurant on Friday revealed that not much has changed inside since the Red Oak closed in October 2020.

The partners made a tough decision to close the doors after dealing with business challenges brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ludka said the property remains for sale, although the listing now is being handled by another real estate agent.

Ludka said a new restaurant at the site would have plenty of potential, given its location just south of a Route 17 exit and the thousands of vehicles that pass by each day.

Every time she visits the building, Ludka said she's filled with wonderful memories of the familiar faces of loyal Red Oak customers.

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Remember the Red Oak Restaurant in Binghamton

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