Friday, July 11, 2014

Longtime waitress says goodbye

News on the retirement of a long-time waitress, a local television show, how breweries did in a poll and other tidbits.

Posted on Jan. 6, 2014 at 12:00 a.m.

Judy Spratt has served her last burger.

After about 45 years as a waitress, she’s earned her retirement.

Spratt’s last day at Miles Lab was Monday, Dec. 30. She’d been at 3763 E. Jackson Blvd., Elkhart, through three bar/restaurants and three owners.

She was recruited from Valley Line Stop (where McDonald’s is now at C.R. 17/S.R. 120) by Joe Manfredi and Eddie Bollers.

The bar owners were customers who urged her to come work for them. And she didn’t leave for 41 years.

“I think it’s time,” she said. “It’s starting to take its toll on me, all the running.”

Spratt is a sweet, gracious lady who served customers. She loved them. She loved the work.

When Bill Lamb bought Joe & Eddie’s, she went with the place that he came to call Bulldog.

When Mike Miles bought it from Lamb, she went with the place he came to call Miles Lab.

She nearly quit when Miles bought it and put in the computerized point of sale system. “The first two weeks, to be honest, were pure hell,” she said.

She has a few stories about customers over the years, but said they were mostly courteous.

“She couldn’t have been more dependable and dedicated to what she was doing,” Miles said. “She gave consistently good service to those who came in.”

One of her pet peeves was customers who used their cell phone when she was there to take their order.

She’s nearly 70. She’ll keep her alterations business going. But she doesn’t have to take an order any more.

Miles was right when he called her stint a “tremendous accomplishment.”

Congratulations, Judy. Enjoy retirement.

Ÿ Spots remain on the Dining A La King tour to California Feb. 6-10. We hope to visit wineries and restaurants in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo, Calif. Menno Travel is handling the arrangements and you can secure a spot by calling 574-534-1521.

Ÿ The Hoosier Beer Geek blog’s Reader Choice Awards got 499 votes and a bunch of them must have been from northern Indiana.

A blog post last week announced the results and a couple familiar spots did well.

Iechyd Da Brewing Co. finished second behind Three Floyds for favorite brewery and won the title of favorite brewpub. Fiddler’s Hearth was second in the voting for favorite craft beer bar and Constant Spring was fourth.

The most anticipated new brewery is Goshen Brewing Co.

Ÿ The 13th season of “Dinner and A Book” started Saturday on WNIT, Channel 34, the public television affiliate for this area.

Host Gail Martin cooks with guests and talks about a book they’ve read.

The first episode of this season has Emma Wynn of Bristol. Others who will be on include Tuck Langland, Laura Horst, Alice Martin, Irene Eskridge, Angel Hernandez and me.

The episode I was on, featuring “The Hundred-Foot Journey,” will air Jan. 18 and 20.

The show airs at 10:30 a.m. Saturdays and 8:30 p.m. Mondays.

Ÿ The Burger King on the southeast side of Goshen has reopened after remodeling, according to a press release from Quality Dining Inc., which operates the location.

Fifty-three full- and part-time employees work at the location that now has a new look.

Ÿ The deal to sell the former Mad Anthony’s location on Main Street in downtown Elkhart may be in the works, according to several sources. If another restaurant opened in there, it could be big for downtown Elkhart. Stay tuned.

Marshall V. King is managing editor and food columnist for The Elkhart Truth. You can reach him at 574-296-5805,, on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

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