By Katherine Napier
Tucked in between two townhouses, at 816 South Potomac Street, Hagerstown, MD lies a tiny restaurant that feels just like you’re at home, the women who work there are some of the sweetest people you will meet, and there’s only five of them who run the whole joint. The harbor blue of the house pulls your attention as you drive. You pull over and walk up the door and see a sign, “No checks or cards. Please use cash.” You check your wallet and see some cash, enough for breakfast on a Saturday morning.
You are in the most horrid mood, and as soon as you walk in there, you feel like a kid again with the smell of the bacon grease and fresh toast. You can watch the food be made Antique items hang on the walls above the tables where groups and families gather for an amazing home-cooked meal. Original Cracker Jack boxes, vintage saws and signs, and a multitude of other elderly objects hang above the heads of the people who come in and support this small business. You sit down at the bar in between two older men who are enjoying their pancakes and coffee. The one to your left turns to you and offer to buy your meal simply because they see you aren’t in the best of moods. You accept and once you tell the waitress your order, the man pays for it right before he leaves.
You see another man, in his early 40s, walk in and he sits next to you. They smile at him and immediately give him his coffee — three creamers and six packets of sugar. He nods and thanks them by name. They say, “No problem, dear.” which makes you wonder if he’s a regular. Then they ask if he wants the normal and he chuckles, saying, “You know me too well.” You look up at the menu and see it is one from way before your time, with the white letters unorganized and crooked telling you what each item is and how much it costs. There’s whiteboard next to that that says “Specials!” The two pancakes with bacon and eggs is what the sweet gentleman from earlier paid for, for you.
The space behind the bar where all of the action takes place is very slim, but all of these wonderful women make it work. They seem to have it down pat, moving out of the way before another one even comes close to them. You smile and appreciate how hard these women work to please the community.
Once you finish your meal you give the women a large tip; $35 to split up between the five of them. They are discouraged for a second and you simply say, “You ladies work your butts off to keep everyone in here happy, you deserve it.” They thank you with a free coffee to-go and you head off on your merry way.
Katherine Napier is a Junior at Barbara Ingram School for the Arts