PITTSFIELD -- Customers of the Dakota Steakhouse on South Street pulled into the parking lot Monday afternoon only to find that Sunday night had been the last dinner service.
"You're kidding," said Kate Barton, of Hinsdale, after meticulously backing her car up to a parking space near the front door. "I'm so disappointed."
Barton had been a customer of the Dakota for 25 years. She ate there last two weeks ago.
"I really enjoyed it," she said. "It was a place where you could come with friends, or I would come by myself and feel at home. I'm going to miss it."
Joanne Moran, of Windsor, had stopped by the Dakota to buy a loaf of its molasses bread to eat with dinner. Then, she learned it was closed.
"I'm shocked," she said. "Didn't even know."
Moran said she typically received a gift certificate for the Dakota around Christmas time and ate at the restaurant about two or three times a year.
"I'm surprised," she said. "When did it close?
She was told Sunday night.
"It's too bad," Moran said.
Unlike Barton and Moran, John Tullock, of Pittsfield, said he had heard the Dakota had closed. He came by because he didn't believe it.
"I heard it on the radio," said Tullock, who had planned to eat at the Dakota on Monday night. "I said, ‘I've got to go find out [in person].' "
Tullock said he knew the chain that owned the Dakota had closed a sister restaurant in Vermont.
"I figured they'd keep this one open," he said. The Pittsfield steakhouse was the last one in the small chain.
Tullock had been eating at the Dakota since it opened in Pittsfield in 1984, dining there on a regular basis, he said.
But Tullock summed up his feelings with one word: "Shock."
To reach Tony Dobrowolski:
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