The place is never closed!

Not long ago a beloved downtown Melbourne, FL restaurant went the way of the dinosaurs. The Clock was a cozy fixture on US1 for several decades. Even though it was a franchise, it had its own individual kitsch, mostly from the long-time employees and customers who gave it its aura. Certain types of folks could be expected to inhabit the booths depending on the time of day... day laborers gulping mug after mug of hot coffee in the pre-dawn hours, retirees enjoying an inexpensive breakfast or an early bird lunch, college students gathering for sodas and burgers after classes, small groups of recovering alcoholics and addicts gathering for dessert and high-spirited fellowship after meetings... this was a welcome haven for all.

There was nothing particularly spectacular about the food. It was standard American fare served in decent sized portions at a reasonable price. But the cooks were eager to please and took great pride in their work. This pride was also evidenced by The Clock's fine servers, management and support staff. Each patron was treated with the utmost courtesy and respect. And it was sincere, not simply a matter of company policy! One only needed to dine there a time or two before he/she was known by name and treated as an honored friend.

I miss that place... that feeling. The available overnight choices aren't very appealing any more. Spending too much time in the parking lot of 7-Eleven at 3 a.m. is asking for trouble in some form. The local Dunkin Donuts only has its drive through window open during the graveyard shift. And Denny's is... well... just Denny's...

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