The closing of Eppinger’s restaurant near Portersville leaves uncertainty about what will open in its place.

Bill Preston, a part-owner of Last Minit Mart which is renting the building on Route 19 near Portersville, said Wednesday he hopes to see a restaurant open in the space by summer.

Eppinger’s closed its doors Jan. 31.

The former owner, Dorothy Eppinger Currie, sold the business in 2005 to BDK Realty, which owns the entire building.

Last Minit Mart leases the property and opened a convenience store and operates a service station on one end of the building. The rest is vacant with a for sale or lease sign on it.

Last Minit Mart kept the restaurant open for two years after Currie retired in 2005, but because of a decline in business, it closed, Preston said.

“Eppinger’s was Dorothy Currie,” he explained. “People went there because of her. I even went there when I was a kid. I’ve known her 40 years.”

Preston noted the restaurant’s employees also were faithful to Currie and did not really want to work under the new management.

“Dorothy was like their mother,” Preston said. “Working for her was their way of life. When she left, it was never the same again.”

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