FITCHBURG - Outside the Moran Square Diner at 6 Myrtle St., customers arriving Sunday morning were met with a sign that read, "Diner closed. Thank you for your years of patronage."

Owners Chris and Mary Gianetti could not be reached for comment, but the iconic Worcester Lunch Car and Carriage Co. diner is listed for sale through Keller Williams Realty at a reduced price of $99,000.

Inside, the diner remains much the same as when it was built in 1940, with chrome trim, swivel stools, wood booths and a yellow and red metal exterior. The windows look out on Moran Square and its statue of a Spanish-American War soldier. Above the counter, the last breakfast specials served before the Giannettis closed the doors are still visible on a whiteboard.

Had you been lucky enough to visit before it closed, the Giannettis were serving a bowl of grits or oatmeal, two eggs and toast for $5.95. Diners also had a choice of an omelette, banana pancakes, or coffee cake French toast with home fries.

The Moran Square Diner has been in Moran Square near the intersection of Lunenburg and Main streets since the early 1940s. It was first listed in a city directory under that name in 1943, owned by a Mitchell J. Vitelli. Prior to that, the diner location was listed in the early 1920s as a lunch wagon under the ownership of Michael Haddad. From 1926 to 1943, the business was owned by Herbert Friedricks.

It was often a place of animated conversation, with a reputation for good food.The Giannettis purchased the diner from the Vitelli family in 1994 for $130,000 and had operated it until it was closed last week.

Susan L. Navarre, director of the Fitchburg Historical Society, said she was sad to hear the diner had closed, and concerned that any new owner could change or remove it. She said she visited the diner occasionally since she moved to the area and still remembers how much she enjoyed the chicken special she purchased the first time she went there.

"For me, to have gone in there, it's sort of incredible to see that diner," she said. "I've always loved old architecture. I have wonderful memories of it."

Mrs. Navarre said she is not sure what will happen to the diner, but she is concerned.

"It's really scary to think of a new owner coming in," she said. "It could be toted away, or turned into something different."

The diner harkens to the days when many people walked wherever they needed to go downtown. Now most people drive there.

Lenny Laakso, Fitchburg public works commissioner, said he is also sorry to see the diner go, because it was always on his list of places to go, but he never quite got there.

"It was always on my bucket list," he said with a little regret.

Although he said he had not visited the diner, he has a painting of it on the wall in his office. He said he found the painting while in Brattleboro, Vermont, and purchased it. It is by artist Don Sawyer.