How 6 months turned into 30 years at Maid Marian's Diner
'You don't get any better bunch'
Working as a waitress wasn't something Barb Condon expected to enjoy. But she needed the money, so took a job at Charlottetown's iconic Maid Marian's Diner just months after it opened in 1987.
"When I first started I was only going to work for six months, said I'd never be a waitress," said Condon.
I was on my own so I had to raise my two sons.— Barb Condon
"But when I started here and meeting the people, the kids, I just loved it and that's why I'm still here."
She already had a job as a school custodian. The new job at Maid's had her working from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., with a short break before heading off to the school at 3:15 and working until 9:15.
"I was on my own so I had to raise my two sons. That's why I worked, and now I still work because I love the job," she said.
She's retired from the school job now, but still puts in three shifts a week at the diner.
A lot of breakfasts
Over those 30 years, breakfast has been the most popular item she's carried to the tables.
Specifically, The Robin Hood — eggs, bacon, home fries, with tea or coffee included — and it's not just a morning thing. An order for breakfast can come at any time from the 6 a.m. opening to the 8 p.m. closing.
Condon said there's no way she could count the number of breakfasts she's served, but does remember one day when the restaurant served up 700.
A devastating fire
Every day working at Maid Marian's is a great day, says Condon, but she does recall one day of heartache.
In May 2009, a fire ripped through the building. Condon rushed to watch the firefighters work, but it was clear the restaurant could not be saved.
"A bunch of us that work here watched it go up in flames and it was just awful. It was sickening," she said.
But while the old place was gone, the owners were quick to assure people that Maid Marian's would rise again. The new diner opened in March the following year.
After 30 years, working at Maid Marian's has become a multi-generational experience for Condon.
"You have your regulars that's been coming here for 30 years too. Then their kids come, and their grandkids come," she said.
"You don't get any better bunch than the customers that come in here."
And it's not just the customers that are bringing new generations into the diner. One of Condon's sons is now working in the kitchen.
While Condon has retired from her school job, she doesn't see that ever happening at Maid Marian's.
"If I could work another 30 years here, I will," she said.
"I'm not going to stop working until I can't get out of bed to go to work."
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With files from Island Morning