PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The well-known Bomber restaurant in Milwaukie is closing its doors.

The landmark location has been a local institution since the late 40s. For nearly 70 years an actual WWII bomber was mounted outside.

Art Lacey in front of the “Lacey Lady” B-17 bomber. (Courtesy photo)

Art Lacey, who owned The Bomber restaurant, bought the surplus plane in 1947 from an air base in Oklahoma — winning a $5 bet that he could do it.

It became a canopy for his gas station and an attraction he named the “Lacey Lady.” The Bomber restaurant attracted WWII veterans who told their stories and brought in memorabilia. 

The B-17G bomber was disassembled in 2014 and brought to a hangar at the Salem airport to be restored to flying condition. It’s one of the only 44 B-17s left in the world. Only a few are still airworthy.

The B-17 was a long-range bomber they called “The Flying Fortress,” able to take incoming fire and keep flying. It helped the allies win the war and saved many American lives.

The owners said that while they are closing down the restaurant, they are hoping to reopen the catering business soon.