A late-night customer at Round The Clock Diner on Route 30 said he comes to the diner to get away from it all.
He was from Harrisburg, he said, and this was a place he could get some work done. At 1 a.m. Saturday, his table was covered in papers and books, and his laptop was open in front of him with documents and spreadsheets pulled up on the screen.
Round The Clock Diner is busy on the weekends, but busy in a quiet way. Customers sit in groups of twos and threes mostly. They order, talk in low voices while they wait for their food, then they eat and leave. Even after the bars let out around 2 a.m., the crowd remains in check.
Momo’s, said Josh Klinedinst of Dover, who was at the diner Friday night, was “something different.”
Klinedinst started going to Momo’s in the summer, when it was still warm out, he said.
“It was almost like a car show every weekend,” Klinedinst said. Just a bunch of kids who wanted to show off souped-up engines. It was the same group that used to meet in the Tractor Supply Company parking lot before they were pushed out of there by police, and after that in the back parking lot of HACC.
Klinedinst said he watched a lot of races go down on Route 30 in front of Momo’s. The police showed up occasionally when the crowds got too large late at night, but he said he always left before then.
Momo’s was a good place to meet, Klinedinst said. R&B music blasts in the dining room. It’s hip, with low yellow lighting, brightly painted walls and flat screen TV’s.
Something about the party seemed to start to go wrong after the bars let out and patrons would flood Momo’s dining room, Klinedinst said.
On Nov. 17, a shooting occurred in the parking lot and resulted in the death of 25-year-old Christen Edward Latham. It was one of three recent shootings along the same section of Route 30, including one that occurred just over a week ago in the parking lot of the Veterans Political Association.
Now, those big crowds outside Momo’s are gone, and early Saturday morning, were replaced by police cars. There’s a sign posted on the entrance that informs customers that, due to security issues, the dining room will close at 1:30 a.m.
“That’s cool if they (the police) want to hang around,” said Jay Laboy, manager of Momo’s.
Customers trickled in and out on Friday night and early Saturday morning, most taking their food to go. Laboy said business was good, but his customer base has changed.
Laboy had previously told the York Daily Record that he had reached out to police in an effort to address security concerns at the restaurant, but that he had not heard back from officers after the shooting.
Laboy could see flashing lights out the window. Multiple police cars were making their presence in the area known by conducting traffic stops, including some in the Momo’s parking lot.
“See what it takes for that to happen though,” Laboy said.