Interstate 81 diner reopens after travelers show up to try famed Elvis burger

Pink Cadillac Diner was temporarily closed Wednesday due to owner's stress

NATURAL BRIDGE, Va. – A cross-country trip for a burger ended at a Rockbridge County restaurant Wednesday and convinced its owner not to hang up his spatula for good.

Gene Anderson and his friend arrived at the Pink Cadillac Diner just off Interstate 81 in Natural Bridge to try its ‘Elvis Burger.’ However, the restaurant was mysteriously closed when they got there.

For those unfamiliar with the Pink Cadillac Diner’s signature burger, it’s a half-pound, double-decker burger with lettuce, tomato and the diner’s own sauce.

“I’d like to see these people back at work, making some money, and putting out some good food,” Anderson said.

Pink Cadillac owner Brian Torrence suddenly closed the restaurant Wednesday, and wrote in a Facebook post that it could stay closed indefinitely.

“I kind of reached a mental limit, if you will, and thought, ‘This is it,‘” Torrence said.

I’ve got bad news friends. The Pink Cadillac Diner is closed tomorrow, Wednesday July 29 and May never reopen. It pains me to post this - but things are what they are.

Posted by The Pink Cadillac Diner on Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Torrence met Anderson at the front door and although the restaurant remained closed for the day, he cooked the travelers two Elvis burgers, which helped convince him to keep the diner running.

“Making the Elvis burgers for those guys just made me think, ‘No, we’re going to reopen,’” Torrence said. “It’s not as dire as I thought it was. I probably just needed a mental health day.”

The Pink Cadillac will reopen on Thursday.

Anderson said he has no regrets about traveling so far for a single burger.

“This is a tasty burger,” Anderson said. “I’m actually sort of a vegetarian, or try to be, but you can’t pass up an Elvis burger. This is a quest.”