For 45 years, Clair’s Family Restaurant has been a staple community spot, serving up “the best broasted chicken in Hanover,” and treating anyone who walked through the door, like family.
When Doug Markey’s father Clair opened up the restaurant in 1976, Markey says his dad wanted a better life for his family.
After his retirement, Markey and his sister Deb Markey-Zartman took the lead and continued their father’s legacy for nearly two decades. As they now reach their own retirement, they are eternally grateful for the support of their customers and employees, who’ve helped them succeed all these years.
After it was announced on Facebook that Clair’s would be closing, patrons lined up outside the door, with excitement and sadness, to enjoy one final meal.
Hanover resident Butch Brooks has been a regular at Clair’s for decades.
“This will be the last great meal I have until Thanksgiving,” Brooks said, referring to the Roast Turkey platter, a favorite dish among regulars.
After hearing the restaurant was closing, Brooks’ friends Sonny and Deb Hamer, came all the way from Texas, for one last meal.
Sonny says in the past when he and his wife come down to Pennsylvania, they always make it a point to stop at Clair’s. “We make an annual visit, it’s just a great place.”
Clair’s is where Pat Duncan would have her birthday lunch for the past several years, and when she and her friends heard it was closing, they stopped in to celebrate her special day a little early.
“You could come here and have a cup of coffee, and you’re valued just as much if you had a three-course meal,” Duncan said.
For the past 30 years, Hanover residents Peggy Garrett and her husband regularly had their Sunday dinner at Clair’s.
“We don’t even need to look at the menu. This is our favorite restaurant to come to for Sunday supper, almost every week we have come here.”
Clair’s last day in business is Saturday, Sept. 25, and they will be open from 11a.m. to 4p.m.
The Markey siblings say they owe everything to their workers and the community who have supported them since the beginning.
“If it wasn’t for them, we’re nothing,” Markey said.
“We will miss them, just as much as they will miss us,” Zartman said.
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!