Shelly’s Diner Saying Goodbye

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HAMLIN -- A diner in Wayne County will close up shop this weekend, but not because its owners want to.

The owners of Shelly's Family Restaurant in Hamlin say it's getting harder and harder for small businesses to survive.

Patrick Shelly bought the building on the Hamlin Highway 10 years ago to chase a dream he's had since boyhood.

"There's so many things working against small business anymore. It's tough," Shelly said.

The dream ends on Sunday when Shelly's Family Restaurant closes its doors for good. The Shellys say they've been slowly losing money each year.

"The chains, it's tough to compete with them. We don't have the marketing budget. Here in the seasonal area of Hamlin, we've had a lot of older customers die off, and that's why we're closing," Shelly added. "Over the years, gradually we've lost more and more customers that we just haven't been able to replace."

It's been Shelly's for a decade, but most people in Wayne County will remember the place as the Hamlin Diner. The building's been there for than 30 years.

"I like to go where you're treated right, and where the service is good, and the food is just as good," said Pearl Padula of Jefferson Township.

Customers, though dwindling, are loyal and say Hamlin will lose a family-run gem.

"Excellent food, service wonderful, we have waitresses who have been here for years. I feel bad I don't know what's going to happen to them," said Eileen Machules of Lake Wallenpaupack.

"It's nice, homey, you relax when you're here. I'm sad that it's going to close," said Mary Dolan of Moscow.

The Shellys say they stuck around this week to give their employees one last paycheck.

"It's been emotional, devastating after 10 years. The customers become family and friends, and we've had our up and downs every day, all kinds of different emotions," said Denise Shelly.

There will be many different emotions this weekend, too, but the prevailing one will be pride.


  • B King

    Well I guess I will have to go to the truck stop in MT. Cobb buy a double cheese whopper eat it and throw up 2 hours later. We will miss you Shellie’s

  • Stop The World and Let Me Off

    Based on his diagnosis there should not be a open restaurant within 50 miles of that place, is that true?

    • Concerned resident

      Based on his diagnosis you are correct. But it seems funny how the Business at that location lasted 20 years prior. And many more years not even a mile up the road.

  • Concerned resident

    To comment on the closing of shelly’s restaurant. I hate to see anyone down on their luck but I think it is shameful to blame the closing on people passing away. You should be ashamed. And as far as it being seasonal I have lived in Hamlin for 40 years. As a kid I road my bike to the original Hamlin diner at Hamlin corners. Worked at the dinner in my teens and again in my 20s. Seasonal business I don’t think so. And am apalled that the owner of Shelly’s did not even have the courtesy to inform his employees of the closing. They found out a couple of weeks before the closing from customers.

    • Wendy Stevens

      Concerned Resident… You should be ashamed! Your comment regarding the Shelly’s not informing their employees is a complete lie. I am employed there. Patrick has made is very clear, for months, their situation. Patrick and Denise have always considered us a top priority and at no time were we kept in the dark nor informed by our customers. What purpose do you have to comment such a lie about 2 of the most dedicated, kind, and giving people in the area. Shane on you. Nothing like kicking someone when they’re down!

      • Concerned resident

        Well Wendy I’m sorry u feel so but it is not a lie that things we’re kept in the dark. Sorry to say. Not trying to kick anyone while they are down. But the fact of the matter is It happened. And comments that were made on the news about people that have passed away being part of the reason that his business is closing he should be ashamed of himself.

    • Patrick Shelly

      Concerned? The only thing it seems you’re concerned about is spreading lies and being hateful. We announced we were closing for good last week on Facebook. Before that we talked to the employees that we were going to close. The news came up to talk to us because they saw the Facebook post. We didn’t receive 1 negative comment on Facebook but you hide behind your fake name. You talk about the success of the Hamlin Diner and I don’t disagree with that but here’s the difference. I had over $800,000 invested into the place with a mortgage, wages went up shortly after I took over, the first 5 years propane prices doubled, the electric went up 38%, food cost went up. Talk about funny one of the previous owner’s family members told me numerous times they were glad they were out. They also warned me years ago about negative people like you. The news interviewed us for 15 minutes and only showed roughly 2 minutes and one of the questions was what do you think changed over the years. I gave 3 answers, competition- too much and more and more people going to chain restaurants. Also many of our core customer base that patronized The Hamlin Diner and Shelly’s passed away. This is a fact, I am sorry I didn’t provide the obituary list. You tell me this area isn’t seasonal, you apparently don’t know what you talking about as we know the area. Have you heard of “snowbirds” people that leave in the fall and come back in the spring. I don’t know why you took the time to post such a comment but you clearly don’t like us, just say that and smile, be happy were leaving. The place is for sale and since you know so much maybe you should buy it. I will tell you this I was very happy to buy The Hamlin Diner and I loved the place and the employees and they both will be missed. I have been open and honest with the employees always, I could have closed last week but I stayed open to pay the employees. If the attorney or bank would have gotten involved none of the employees would have gotten paid. I listed the place for sale or lease back in April and told the employees that I had hoped to make it through the summer. We started telling the employees if things didn’t change we would be closing before the end of June. When we found out that we had to close we told the employees first. We have to accept the facts things change, look around many restaurants are closing, big retailers are closing. I replied to you and was told by people to ignore it, but hitting us when we hit rock bottom. Thanks but I will stand up for myself when you don’t have a clue what your talking about concerned resident.

      • Concerned resident

        First it has nothing to do with hating anyone. Second I would not wish hard times on anyone since know hard times and the struggles of life all to well. And to come back at me with a comment of sorry I didn’t provide an obituary list turns my stomach. As far as knowing the area I know it quite well. And you said for me to be happy your leaving. No that’s not the person I am. I feel bad for your family and for your employees. The fact is that yes competitive businesses did move in and makes thing tough on a small business. But to come off with deceased patrons contributing to the closing of your business In my eyes is wrong. Again I don’t hate your family and wish you the best of luck in the future. Sincerely a.k.a. concerned resident.

    • Susan Phillips

      Concerned- I believe you took his comment out of context. He is not blaming the people for dying. You have to understand that the interview is chopped and pieced together. I’m sure there was more said than shown in the clip. If you knew Pat you would know that the loss of patrons affects him personally. It’s evident by the display of pictures on the wall. These are good people that just haven’t been given the support that they have shown our community. Whatever the future holds for them I’m sure it will be bright. Maybe you could stop by today or tomorrow and have a look around. Have a bite to eat. Shake their hands and wish them well. They would do it for you, I’m sure!

      • Concerned resident

        Susan – I’m am not saying they are bad people. But Shelly even replied back with a comment of sorry I didn’t give you an obituary list. Sorry does that seem professional to you. It hit home with me and I said what need to be said. Like I said I don’t hate them and feel bad for their loss. And I do understand what they have gave to the community and give them a great thanks. And hope the better luck in the future.

      • Patrick Shelly

        Thanks Susan for your support. Telling us the business isn’t seasonal and that we didn’t lose business due to long term customers passing away. Basically calling me a liar and I was using that as an out on why we really failed. So my reply was do I need to provide you the obit list because I can tell you we have gone to many of customers viewings and have had several funeral dinners for the loyal people I talk about and that carried us year round. Professional , you attack me under a fake name and I strongly suspect I know who you are. Your a coward because you couldn’t even use your real name. You have done this before to our business. WNEP knows who you are as they have your email address.

    • out of Hamlin for years now...

      look at the tax records online… the real reason they are closing is they don’t like paying their taxes.

      • Patrick Shelly

        Taxes are owed by thousands of people in the state including myself. All the taxes owed are taxes I told them I owed. The burden of running a business with taxes is expensive and more then I thought. So yeah your right that is one of the reasons we are closing down. I have paid over $800,000 in taxes the last 18 years probably more then you earned. Again another coward that can’t even put their real name out there because they are probably afraid they may get exposed for what hateful people they are. And you notice I don’t hide , I’ll tell you the truth and guess what the taxes follow me even when the business closes.

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