Saturday mornings before our family would be off to the city for shopping my mom would meet her friends at the only restaurant in town. Halfway down main street a small building, faded siding and a small deck on the front with orange metal table and chairs. Cars and trucks parked on both sides of the street, bikes may on the grass beside the restaurant as many stopped in as routine for their daily dose of town gossip. I would usually go with my mom Saturday mornings for my Cinnamon bun and chocolate milk breakfast. I would sit there listening to the conversation, watching the other tables as the place filled up to capacity. I remember when coffee went up from $1 to $1.25, it was quite a commotion. I remember many family bike rides to the coffee shop for ice cream- half maple walnut and half cherry cheese cake in a dish. No cone for me.
The Pope family took over the restaurant and it was renamed Gordie's Eatery and Catering. The walls were painted and the floor replaced with yellow and blue tile. Saturday morning coffee continued and I sometimes went but my friends and I had our own coffee meeting time after school. We would try and sit at the table where there was a cut out into the kitchen where we could talk with Gordie and give him our orders through there. We had many favorites; he made the BEST poutine ever, whenever he had chicken lemon rice soup on the whole school came down at lunch. He would tell us the night before so we could be the first there. Chicken quessedilla were a top choice for me and the ultimate: Deep Fried Pickles. I know it sounds terrible but Dallas and I would devour these boiling hot, greasy, sticks of pickle coated in a batter dipped in the "special" sauce.
The restaurant got a slush puppie machine one summer which for a small town was the equivalent to a 7-11 Slurpee machine. The sweet/sour colored ice drinks were a favorite for all. Rainbow tongues and teeth appeared after you had one and if you had more then 2 blue slush puppies in one day your insides turned blue. If you bought a medium one you got a sucker to go with it. I don't know how my teeth didn't rot off that summer with my consumption of slush puppies and ice cream.
The coffee shop was were many plans were made and stories and secrets were told. It was not fine dining. It was small town burgers and fries, endless cups of coffee, gossip central. It closed a few years ago and is now the senior centre. Everytime I drive by I think back to all the laughs shared and memories made of growing up in a small town.