A new look: Penny’s Diner is closing, and will reopen as a new restaurant in August | TheUnion.com

A new look: Penny’s Diner is closing, and will reopen as a new restaurant in August

Sam Corey
Staff Writer
Penny's Diner is set to close Sunday and reopen in August. Michelle McConnell, the co-owner, plans to remake the menu to be as inclusive as possible.
Cory Fisher/cfisher@theunion.com


What: Penny’s Diner

Where: 2072 Nevada City Highway, Grass Valley

When: 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily

Penny’s Diner is preparing for a makeover.

Michelle McConnell, who purchased the business last July, will close shop Sunday and reconstruct her business, opening a different restaurant in the same space come August.

The co-owner of Penny’s Diner and Nevada City’s Sushi at Nourish said she is unable to sustain the business due to a steady loss of customers and uptick in costs, such as the raised minimum wage.

The co-owner wants to reopen the restaurant as a “family first location” with TVs to watch sports games and a menu inclusive of various diets. Specifically, she wants the dishes to be “kind of like bar food” with a range of healthy options.

“I want good quality ingredients and flavorful food.”— Michelle McConnellOwner of Penny’s Diner

“I know for my own family it’s hard because we all have dietary restrictions,” said McConnell, referring to her daughter’s rare stomach disease and McConnell herself, who doesn’t eat processed foods.

“I’m not a rabbit,” she said. “I want good quality ingredients and flavorful food.”

The decision to close has not been easy, said McConnell, as many customers are upset.

“I respect everyone’s opinion and I try not to take things personally,” she said.

Some of the wait staff are quitting during the interim period, said McConnell, and will not return to work for the new business. The co-owner said she’s tried to help those leaving find new jobs.

She feels grateful for everyone who has decided to stay to work at the new restaurant.

“(They) are truly the best servers in the industry,” she said.

Contact Sam Corey at 530-477-4219 or at scorey@theunion.com.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.

For tax deductible donations, click here.

Connect with needs and opportunities from

Get immediate access to organizations and people in our area that need your help or can provide help during the Coronavirus crisis.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User