After five years as owner of Auntie M’s Diner in Florence, Mary Britton will close her doors for the final time Dec. 31. She’s known that for a while.
Those doors will open again Jan. 2 under a new name and new ownership. The sale was finalized Dec. 20.
Britton’s health problems had become too much to balance with the rigors of owning and operating a restaurant, and she was ready to close when she was approached by Tammy Britton, no relation, who has waitressed part-time at Auntie M’s.
The two worked out an agreement, and the diner got new life, under the name On the Corner Café.
Tammy Britton is excited — and nervous — for her new adventure.
“I’m a little scared,” she said. “I quit my job to do this. I put myself in debt, which I haven’t been in for many years, so I’m hoping that it works out.”
Tammy Britton said she plans to keep the mom-and-pop diner feel, and make more fresh things such as hash browns, hamburgers, and fresh-baked pies. She wants to incorporate items like roast beef and brisket into the menu as well.
Her mother, Sharon Oursler, owned and operated Sharon’s Korner Kitchen in Peabody.
“I’ve had a lot of years within the restaurant business,” Tammy Britton said, “I’ve just never done it by myself.”
Tammy Britton is raising three children, ages 16, 14, and 6, by herself. Her daughter Derian, 16, will be waitressing part-time for the restaurant. Current staff members all have been offered positions to work at the new restaurant, Tammy Britton said.
“I’ve been working for Mary, and I consider her a friend, not just an employer,” Tammy Britton said. “I knew she didn’t want to close it, so I finally said ‘OK.’
“And I love the people here in Florence, I love the people that come in here.”