SHAMOKIN - As usual, patrons flocked to Harry's Grill on North Market Street Saturday night to enjoy another delicious meal. But this time, their visit was more special because it was the last day of business for the 73-year-old dining establishment.

It was also memorable for longtime owners Barb and Tom Kearns, of East Cameron Township, and their staff who truly lived by the restaurant's motto of "fine dining at coal region prices."

"I want to thank all the patrons for their loyal support over the years," Barb said. "Tom and I are humbled by the great appreciation shown to us. I didn't know so many people cared about our business."

Barb said she received numerous flowers, cards and well wishes from customers since the owners announced last month that they were closing the famed eatery.

She said many patrons told the couple that they didn't know where they were going to eat in the future.

"They were more than customers to us," Barb said. "They were friends."

Barb also praised her fine staff.

"We've had excellent employees through the years who provided outstanding service to our customers," she said.

"Although it was hard work, we had a lot of fun together and they are like family to us."

Barb said there are three people interested in purchasing the restaurant and bar. She's hopeful someone can take it over and provide the same type of menu, service and prices.

Tom, who is a chef and was busy as usual in the kitchen, took a brief moment to pose for a staff photo before commenting, "I have to get back to work. I don't want to burn a pizza on our last day."

Barb and Tom, who needs both knees replaced, plan to take their first vacation in a couple years and enjoy life as much as possible.

Barb said, "I'm sure my dad would be proud. We were able to carry on his legacy and establish our own legacy."

Barb's father, Harry Sanzotto, and his uncle, Harry Zito, opened the restaurant on Market Street in 1941. Sanzotto remained the face of the place for 50 years. After his death in 1991, Barb and Tom took over operations.