Popular Danville restaurant closes after 61 years

Restaurant heavily damaged by repeated flooding this year

DANVILLE, Va. – Heart Line Restaurant was busy Monday.

Longtime customers like Marsha Bennett and Zoey Lowery wanted to get one last meal.

"Everything's good, really. Look at my omelet," Bennett said.

"Pancakes and orange juice," Lowery said when asked what her favorite food to order at the restaurant is.

When Bennett heard earlier this month that the restaurant was closing, she was quick to show her support for the restaurant and owner Debra Layne.

"I beelined here and we had a group of girls to come have lunch and to give Debra our love," Bennett said.

The restaurant is closing because of damage caused by repeated flooding this year.

Pictures Layne posted to the restaurant's Facebook page after Tropical Storm Michael show the damage the storm caused.

"We were just working like any other day and I looked out the window and saw the water. It looked like a hurricane washing toward us. It started pouring in the roof, started pouring in the windows, down the walls. It caused little, small electrical fires in the walls -- in the outlets. We had water in here up to our knees," Layne said.

Layne has owned the restaurant for 27 years and said it had only flooded once before this year.

"It's heartbreaking," Layne said of the closing.

Longtime customer Tiemeyer Thompson is heartbroken as well.

"Me and my family, we come here a lot. We love the food, we love the people," Thompson said.

Layne hopes to reopen the restaurant in a new location in the spring.

"I'm negotiating on a building, but I haven't packed the first thing. I haven't even rented a storage building yet because up until today it hasn't really seemed real," Layne said, struggling to hold back her emotions.