Diane Beatty has owned the Café on the Common in Mansfield for over 12 years now, she said she can’t be happier in the business.
“There’s never a dull moment,” she said. “It’s the love of food and people… My grandmother was Lebonese and I used to watch her cook and I just loved it.”
Beatty said that over the years in Mansfield, the comradery between her, her staff and the town is really what kept the shop going.
“My help doesn’t really leave unless they’re going on to bigger and better things,” she said. “One’s a cosmetologist, a firefighter, a cop… They all come back and work weekends though. It feels like your having a party every day you just don’t know who’s coming.”
Denise Allen, a waitress at the Café, agreed that the relationship between the staff and the customers is at least what she thinks makes the place truly unique.
“We actually build a relationship with our customers, you know, fool around,” she said.
Beatty said she has been in the business for over 28 years. She started at the Mug and Muffin in Norwood and then opened up the Bird Park Diner in Walpole.
She said that people keep coming back to breakfast and lunch places like hers because the food is not expensive, at least not as expensive as dinner restaurants and bars. She said the added cost of doing business just isn’t there for here.
“Lots of dinner places are hurting now,” she said. “Breakfast and lunch is fast-paced but it’s comfortable, it doesn’t really get affected much by the economy…We haven’t really felt the crunch… The clientele is still here and we have the best staff ever.”
She said the best part about it for her is that the day is over at three in the afternoon and she does not have to work until 11 or 12 at night, like full dinner establishments.
“I don’t want to be married to the place,” she said. “When I close the door at three you can still have a life.”
She added that the restaurant serves dinner on Friday nights.