LIMA — It’s dark outside and the lighting is low and comforting inside the diner.
Only about three tables have occupants, regulars who rushed to the door right at 6 a.m. when Ashlie Cumella, head waitress, opens up.
More people will come in later, as the mornings are busy at LuLu’s Diner on the east side of Lima, but for now, it’s quiet except for the sounds of the radio being piped in, coffee pouring and Cumella shouting “order in” to the cook.
Bob Brown walks in a little after 6 and sits at the small bar.
Cumella comes over right away and offers him coffee. Brown comes in twice a day — at 6 a.m. and around noon — and has been for about a year.
He likes everything about Lulu’s, says Brown, who works maintenance at a nearby apartment complex.
“Me,” Cumella pipes up, in answer to what Brown likes about Lulu’s, garnering a smile from Brown.
He also likes the people, the coffee, the good food and that it’s close to home.
He sits, relaxed at the counter, as Cumella writes on her order pad, talks to the cook, refills others’ coffees and talks to Brown. He orders something different every day, but she knows most of the regulars’ orders and just has to hear them say they’re ready to eat.
Reach Danae King at 567-242-0511 or on Twitter @DanaeKing.