When the owners of Clair’s Family Restaurant announced in September they were retiring, the Hanover community lined up outside the door, ready to enjoy one final meal.
But Clair Markey’s granddaughter, Amber Golden, was not quite ready to let go of the business she grew up in.
“When my mom and uncle announced they were retiring, everyone in Hanover was sad, like losing a member of their family sad,” Golden added. “I told my mom, don’t put it (the restaurant) on the market.”
Before taking over the business, Golden called her grandfather, and asked if it would be all right if she continued the family business.
“He was overwhelmed with happiness when I told him — I don’t think he ever expected Clair’s would be at the third generation.”
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Growing up in the restaurant business allowed Golden to discover her passion. She trained at the PA School of Culinary Arts, a part of YTI Career Institute, gaining culinary skills as well as studying restaurant management.
For the last several years, Golden has been teaching at YTI but realized she missed the restaurant hustle and bustle and wanted to get back into the business.
“I love teaching, but I found myself missing the people at the restaurant, the organized chaos and fast-paced work.”
With the help of her husband Cory, who has also worked in restaurants in the past, Golden will reopen Clair’s Family Restaurant shortly after the new year.
“A lot of the servers and familiar faces are coming back, and we’re going to bring back the same menu,” Golden said.
Her culinary background and Pennsylvania Dutch cooking style may inspire a couple of new dishes on the menu, and maybe even homemade ice cream down the road.
But Golden intends to keep Clair’s the way her family always has — simple and comforting — and hopes to keep the community coming back for more.
When she announced on Facebook that the restaurant was reopening, Golden said the support from fellow coworkers and community members was overwhelming.
“The team was such a close-knit crew, and when people said they were coming back to this place with me, I was in tears — I feel so blessed.”
Check back for more updates on when to expect the Clair’s Family Restaurant, reopening date.
Lena Tzivekis is a reporter for the Evening Sun. Follow her Twitter at @tzivekis, and say hi, or let her know where to get the best cup of coffee!