It's been a South Burlington institution since 1955, but on March 31, 2007, the Parkway Diner will be closing its doors . . . temporarily.
George and Christine Alvanos, who have been leasing the diner for the past decade, are moving on to their new business, the Pine Street Deli, formerly Red Roberts. Although the Alvanoses declined to speak with Seven Days about the move, a diner-focused website, www.theamericanroadside.com , reported that the couple wanted to purchase the building or extend their lease but "were rebuffed."
George Hatgen, who owns the building and ran the diner himself for 20 years, confirmed that his son, Peter Hatgen, will "take over on the first of April." George explained that the diner will be closed for about a month for cleaning, painting and repairs. "I used to take a lot of time to keep it clean," he said. "Now it needs a lot of work."
He hopes to be on hand to help his son, and says the business name, menu and "people" will remain the same.
It's been a busy week for the Localvore folk. A new chapter of the movement is starting up in the Northeast Kingdom. There will be an informational meeting at the St. J. Food Co-op on March 20 from 5:30-7 p.m. Call 748-9498 for details . . . Hardcore localvores do all their frying with butter and lard. Soon they'll have another fat option: Butterworks Farms' sunflower oil, coming to a food co-op near you.
Julie Sperling and Doug Freilich of Naga Bakery in Middletown Springs are dying to share the secret of delicious sourdough. Their hands-on, one-day workshop includes info about sourdough starters and details about how to mix and shape dough. Each participant takes home a loaf of bread from the wood-fired oven, plus some sourdough starter for their own. The workshop, which costs $75, runs on March 10 and 11, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Call 235-1282 for questions or to reserve a spot.
On Tuesday, March 13, Vermont Public Television's "Outdoor Journal" goes wild. The episode, which airs at 7:30 p.m., will feature a slew of Vermonters preparing uncultivated foods such as morel mushrooms, watercress, fiddlehead ferns, grouse and cattail pollen. Guest chefs include mushroom maven Robert Resnik, NECI  chef Tom Bivins and foragers Nova Kim and Les Hook. Sounds like some tasty TV.