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"It's killing me but we have to close," said Heather Renaud, who has worked at Mary's for nearly 15 years, the past four and a half years as owner manager.
"You become attached to the place and the people after 15 years . . . I've worked here long enough that it is like home away from home; a lot of customers have become close to me and saying goodbye will be hard."
"We're on the lookout for another location, likely smaller and hopefully in the downtown," said Renaud.
say goodbye at Mary's Diner
Mary's was one of four businesses destroyed in a December 1983 fire that claimed two lives.
The last meal is expected to come off the kitchen griddle early this afternoon.
Both had emigrated to Canada from Poland in 1928, met in Toronto, were married in the early 1930s, and relocated to the Sault nearly 20 years after arriving in the country, according to The Sault Star archives.
Mary's Diner, which has also operated in Sault Ste. Marie's downtown for nearly 65 years under the Mary's Restaurant, Mary's Lunch and Mary's Cupboard banners, is closing its doors Wednesday.
Damage to the restaurant was pegged at $150,000 and it was "doubtful" the landmark eatery would reopen, according to ed Kosiba, because building insurance had lapsed three years earlier.
location of their coffee house and eventual lunch counter, bakery and restaurant tavern, was in the heart of the city's movie house district with three theatres, the Algoma, Orpheum and Odeon Biltmore, a brief walk away, and there were department stores nearby.
"The appeal has always been a home cooked meal at a reasonable price in a comfortable setting," said an emotional Renaud, breaking into tears as she reminisced about her years at the location.
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"The building's owner wants to sell the property and they want the place emptied."
The bakery, which specialized in breads, desserts and meat pies, was well received.
The more than 40 seat Queen Street eatery, located across from Top Hat Billiards, has been serving up meals since the late husband and wife team of Michael and Mary Kosiba, purchased the then Wimpy's Lunch location in 1947.
a former pastry chef at Toronto's Royal York Hotel, died in 1971 and Mary and her son, Ed, carried on the business until Mary's death in the summer of 2001 the building Converse Full Black High itself was sold to an out of country ownership group from Holland in recent years.
the comfortable setting is that the majority of the diner's clientele are low income earners, she says, "who may not feel as welcome elsewhere, who feel looked down upon, but who have always been welcomed at Mary's.
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"Our customers are loyal, they have told me they will follow us wherever we set up . . . I am afraid some of them will feel lost for the first few days without a familiar place for a coffee or a meal."
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