General Hospital's Spencer Family Storyline Honors Jackie Zeman's Legacy (But It Was All Coincidental)

Kelly's Diner has always been a hot spot in Port Charles on "General Hospital." Originally owned by Paddy Kelly (Frank Parker) and his wife Rose Kelly (Loanne Bishop) in 1980, Kelly's was right on the waterfront with rooms for rent above it. Paddy was killed when a mob war erupted, leaving Rose to run the place by herself. When she eventually left town, she sold the diner to Ruby Anderson (Norma Connolly), the aunt of Barbara Jean "Bobbie" Spencer (Jacklyn Zeman) and her brother Luke Spencer (Anthony Geary). When she first got to town, Bobbie tried to shed her past as a prostitute, becoming a nurse and eventually one of the pillars of the community. 

When Connolly died in 1998, the show killed off Ruby explaining that she left the diner to Bobbie and Luke. In 2002, Bobbie's daughter, Carly Spencer (Laura Wright), discovered the existence of an old speakeasy from the 1920s under Kelly's. She turned it into a nightclub and ran it for a time. While Bobbie and Luke were the owners, they weren't quite so active in running Kelly's, leaving the day-to-day operation to various managers over the years. In the wake of Zeman's death on May 10, a new storyline is emerging in which Carly takes control of Kelly's. Most fans logically assumed that "GH" would write Bobbie's death into the show and Carly would inherit Kelly's, but that's not the case as the story was written before her passing.

Carly running Kelly's was written before Zeman's death

On "General Hospital," Carly Spencer had inadvertently been involved in an insider trading debacle that caused her to lose her half of the Metro Court hotel, and the SEC ultimately fined her $5 million. With no income and dwindling funds, she's contemplating selling her extravagant house. The July 31 edition of Soap Opera Digest reports on the upcoming storyline where Carly buys Kelly's diner. Carly is going to be purchasing the establishment from Bobbie for one dollar, despite the fact that Jacklyn Zeman has passed away.

In it, Laura Wright clarified exactly how the story is going to play out, explaining, "This whole beat was written before Jackie passed away. They have not had the character of Bobbie die and Carly doesn't inherit Kelly's from the character, which would have been a beautiful thing, but this was a choice made a while ago by the writers." Considering Bobbie has not yet been written out, Carly will buy it, intending to eventually pay her mother back. Because she ran a posh hotel, Wright further explained Carly's intent, stating, "When the [opportunity] comes up, it's like 'Oh, my God, this is absolutely perfect. I can do for Kelly's what I did for the Metro Court. I can turn it around and make it the hottest spot on the waterfront again.'" Wright expounded on the concept, implying that Kelly's will replace her lost income, thereby saving her financially.