Karen's Diner in Birmingham closes as customers left waiting outside in ultimate final insult

Gemma Demmett, seventh from left, with her friends and family outside Karen's Diner today
-Credit: (Image: Kirsty Bosley)

A dozen customers were left waiting outside Karen's Diner this lunchtime for a restaurant experience in the canteen known for staff who throw insults. But by the time the venue, which launched in Grand Central in September 2022, was due to open at midday, the restaurant remained in the dark with a bolt on the door.

Karen's has since confirmed that the Birmingham restaurant closed this weekend and that its licence has not been renewed. As such, the diner will not reopen to the public.

Gemma Demmett had brought her daughter Queenie to Birmingham from Cheltenham to experience Karen's Diner along with 10 friends and family members to celebrate Queenie's birthday. Karen's Diner is still showing as 'open' on Google and the website still shows the restaurant's opening hours.

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There's no signage on the door announcing the closure and there are no posts to that effect on the Karen's Diner social media pages. As a result, Gemma and her family booked train tickets to transport the entire group to Birmingham.

Gemma said: "It's Queenie's 10th birthday and she has been on about it for months and so we thought we'd come as a treat in the holidays from Cheltenham. We couldn't get through when we tried to book a table so we thought we'd come and risk not getting a table. We didn't know that it wouldn't be open. They've ghosted us."

Gemma's friend added: "It's cost me £65 on the train to come here today."

Some customers have taken to the web to share their disappointment after having bookings cancelled. Kim Theaker wrote on Google Reviews: "Had a booking for the 25th of May when we arrived the diner was locked up and was in darkness. Our friend who had booked the diner had had a email the day before saying they were looking forward to seeing us.

"There was no sign on the door to explain why it wasn't open we had no phone call or email to state the reason or even explaining that the diner would be shut."

Gemma Roome said: "Booked and paid a deposit WEEKS in advance of my daughter's 13th! For the restaurant to cancel not even 24 hours before we was due to go. Be very wary booking."

Paul Levin, UK and European operations at Karen's Diner confirmed to BirminghamLive today that the restaurant would not be reopening. He said: "We've had a licence for Birmingham but at this stage it hasn't been renewed.

"Everybody has been contacted that booked. We are managing refunds and there are no plans to reopen in Birmingham."