Watts Cookin’, a landmark in Austin alongside Interstate 90, will likely stay open under an unnamed buyer. -- Herald file photo
Watts Cookin’, a landmark in Austin alongside Interstate 90, will likely stay open under an unnamed buyer. -- Herald file photo

Watts likely to stay open under new owner

Published 10:44am Friday, December 20, 2013

Christmas came early for the Watts family.

Kermit Watts said his full-service diner and truck stop, Watts Cookin’, will likely stay open, pending a deal in the works with a buyer.

“We’ve had a white knight. We’ve had a Santa Claus. We’ve had a surprise of surprises,” Watts said Thursday.

Just who or what company that “white knight” is, Watts isn’t ready to say yet. But, he expects the deal to be finalized by around Jan. 1, when more details on the buyer should be released.

Earlier this month, Watts announced plans to close his 24-hours-per-day, 365-days-per-year business for the first and last time at 11 p.m. on Dec. 31, unless he could work out an agreement with a buyer.

It now appears that has happened. Watts is working to renew all the licenses to keep both the diner and truck stop open. While he admitted there could always be a hiccup in the negotiations, he expects the deal to go forward.

Watts said he will continue to be involved for awhile, and he expects the 45 employees to keep working under new ownership for the reasonable future.

—Adam Harringa contributed to this report.


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