Share This
EmailFacebookTwitter

I’d like to place a want ad. But first, I need to explain something.

Ordering from a restaurant menu, for me, is a routine – one that requires patience in any poor saints who go out to eat with me.

First, I pick up the menu and state that I’m “in the mood for something different today.” (Cue eye roll number one from my knowing companions).

I then peruse the possibilities, commenting on each item I think I might want.

“Oh, maybe I’ll get this,” I say, pointing to an appetizing photo. “Or this one looks good, too, but I’m not sure I’d like the sauce.”

A couple minutes go by, and the rest of my party settles on their choices.

I’m still deciding.

“This looks good, but I got that last time,” I say. (Cue eye roll number two.)

The waiter or waitress comes over and asks if we’re ready to order.

“We just need a few more minutes, please,” I say, avoiding eye contact with the rest of my table. (Eye roll number three is undoubtedly in progress.)

Conversation commences, and I get distracted.

The server returns, and, starting with the person sitting next to me and moving in the opposite direction (since I still haven’t decided what I want), he or she takes the orders.

My turn arrives, and I must look like a deer in the headlights. The server asks if I need a couple more minutes, and my friends hold their breaths.

I order the “this looks good, but I got that last time” item, and relieved sighs (along with eye roll number four) are released.

Maybe you’re the same way or know someone who is.

What can I say? I am a creature of habit, but I don’t always like to admit it. Especially when it comes to food and dining out. I not only stick to a select list of restaurants and cafes, but I also have my favorite menu items at each establishment and rarely deviate from these “regulars,” despite intentions to do so (and despite staring at the menu for 10 minutes).

At my go-to cafe in Clarks Summit, Duffy’s Coffee Company, I don’t even need to look at the big chalkboard menu on the wall. My regular is a double vanilla latte and a bacon and egg sandwich on a plain bagel.

Or rather, that was my regular.

I was saddened to learn of the coffee shop’s permanent closing last week.

Rumors flew around town for more than a week saying the business was closing, but I didn’t want to believe it.

Then someone told me it was closed up during normal business hours and a pile of unopened newspapers sat outside. Not a

good sign.

I couldn’t stand it any longer. I had to know for sure. So I checked the business’ Facebook page. Nothing. Next, I Googled “Duffy’s Clarks Summit” and found, in ominous red type, the words “permanently closed” above the business’ listing. Still not wanting to accept the truth, and hoping Google made a mistake, I sent a message to Duffy’s Coffee Company on Facebook. I asked if what the Google listing said was true.

“That’s correct,” came the dreaded response.

And so my hope was shattered.

I’ll miss Duffy’s a lot.

And not just for the double vanilla lattes and bacon and egg sandwiches.

I’ll miss the small-town atmosphere that always made me feel at home in the cafe that I sometimes called my “second home” or “second office.” I’ll miss making more memories there with friends. I’ll miss stopping in to take a break and people watch during the Clarks Summit Festival of Ice. I’ll miss killing time there with a book and a cup of coffee or hot chocolate. (Once in a while, I did I deviate from my regular). I’ll miss pretty much everything about Duffy’s.

The same way I still miss the former Tudor Book Shop and Cafe by Gerrity’s in Clarks Summit where, when I was in high school, I used to hang out with my friends over a cup of hot chocolate. That was my regular there. I loved the way they made it with chocolate syrup instead of powder.

Duffy’s hot chocolate was good too, because it was made with milk from the local Manning Farm Dairy.

Now for the want ad I mentioned in the beginning.

Wanted: a new regular. A spot in the Abingtons where people can go for an hour or two to relax, chat with friends or catch up on work via the wifi. Coffee is a must. Occasional live music is a plus. Book sales also a big plus. Doesn’t need to be fancy. Looking to fill position as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, I mourn for Duffy’s. So long, old friend. And thanks for the memories.

Contact the writer:

ebaumeister@timesshamrock.com; 570-348-9185, ext. 3492