One of a Kind

There are few places that invoke nostalgia in me quite like Ye Olde Hoosier Inn in Stockton, CA. It was the first place I had brunch as a new mom for Mother’s Day and where my husband and I spent our first anniversary.

I don’t remember there ever not being a long line of loyal customers outside, but no one minded because it was well known that it was well worth the wait. Everything on the menu was made from scratch and the waitresses were mostly all grandmotherly types which somehow made the food taste better.

Not only was the food amazing, but the interior was like something right out of a Bavarian dream.

From floor to ceiling, in every direction there were cozy booths, beautiful antiques and quaint German sayings carved in the wood beams.

No matter how many times we went, there was always something new to discover because there was just so much to take in.

Back then I was still too young to fully appreciate the sheer amount of antiques I was surrounded by, but I knew my soul was at home here.

We moved from the area in the early 90s and sadly never made it back to our favorite restaurant. It’s been closed down for a decade and a half now, but it sure had a great run and was a fixture on Wilson Way for over 70 years. I was happy to find that so many people online felt the same way I did about the place, and was a bit angry to learn that the building had been demolished and replaced by a KFC.

Even worse was the way it all came to an end. In an article in the Stockton Record the abrupt way it closed without staff or customers being forewarned really hammers home just how callous some business owners can be.

STOCKTON – Ye Olde Hoosier Inn, a landmark diner that closed this month, is to be demolished, replaced by a gas station and convenience store, its owner said Tuesday.

The Wilson Way inn, which opened to truckers in 1933, became famous for its prime rib, chicken-fried steak and folksy service. But the property, just north of Harding Way, is more likely to profit on gas, owner Al Sarieh said.

The cranberry-colored inn hummed for the last time on Mother’s Day. Neither staff nor customers knew it would be shuttered the next day, Sarieh said. “They just drove up and saw the sign.”

The sign read: “Closed for site development.”

It breaks my heart to think of all those cooks, hostesses and servers, some who had been there for decades, were just cut loose without warning. Not to mention the regulars, who undoubtedly showed up by the car load, anticipating seeing familiar faces and eating their favorite meal only to be met with disappointment.

There will never be another Ye Olde Hoosier Inn. She was definitely one of a kind.

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