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Where everybody knows your name
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Sunday, April 22, 2012    |    By: Barry Courter (Contact)
Megan Grier, left, and Patrick Grier eat breakfast every Monday at Aretha Frankensteins on Tremont Street.
Megan Grier, left, and Patrick Grier eat breakfast every Monday at Aretha Frankensteins on Tremont Street.
Photo by Tim Barber.

Most of us have a favorite restaurant. It might be a once-a-year anniversary place, or it might be the spot we go every day for coffee.

For almost a year now, Monday mornings have meant only one thing for husband and wife Megan and Patrick Grier. That's the day they make the drive from their home in East Ridge to North Chattanooga and Aretha Frankensteins, where they split a slim stack and a double order of bacon.

"He's off on Sundays and Mondays, and it started with my birthday, but ever since then we've gone every Monday," she said. "We might miss if it's a holiday, but if we don't get to go, we are upset about it."

When Pat Mayo died last month, his wife, Sara, son Rick and daughter Dawn were comforted at his visitation by dozens and dozens of people they'd come to know as regulars at Mayo's on Brainerd Road.

"You do become friends," Sara said. "The people who came were people Pat had done something for or known over the years through this place.

"What's interesting is that sometimes they stop coming for a while because lives change and you have children or whatever, but they come back."

She said some are once-a-week regulars, and some come every day.

Up the street at The Comedy Catch, owner Michael Alfano said having regular customers is an indication they're happy.

"It means they like or enjoy what you are offering," he said. "It means you are doing things right.

"Some have become friends and not just customers. They've watched my children grow up, and we each know what is going on in our personal lives."

Linda Weathers has been a Comedy Catch regular for 25 years. She and her husband, Mike, go every week, she said.

"The food is great, first of all, and through the years we've made friends with all of these comedians. We just enjoy going."

She also said laughing, and the staff, have helped her through some tough times.

"I've had a lot of illnesses over the years and had open-heart surgery, and it's always made me feel so much better to go out there. My husband was in Iraq for a year, and they took care of me and really rallied around me."