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New owner resurrecting Olde Stone diner

Head cook Homberto Mendoza serves food
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Head cook Humberto Mendoza plates a crab cake sandwich with fries and homemade slaw and a Caesar salad. Rich Cooley/Daily

If You Go

• The Olde Stone Restaurant and Truck Stop is at 3425 Martinsburg Pike in Clear Brook. The restaurant serves breakfast all day and is open 24 hours on Fridays and Saturdays.
• For more information, visit them on Facebook, where daily specials are listed.
Bobby Carter sips tea
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Bobby Carter, of Stephenson, sips hot tea at Olde Stone. Carter has been a regular customer since he was a child. Rich Cooley/Daily

Patricia Streit carries an order at the Stone Diner
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Olde Stone server Patricia Streit, of Winchester, carries an order at the restaurant in Clear Brook. The new owner is taking the eatery back to an old-style diner, as it was years ago. Rich Cooley/Daily

By Laetitia Clayton-lclayton@nvdaily.com

CLEAR BROOK - The Olde Stone Restaurant has gone through a lot of changes since it was built some 70 years ago, but the new owner is looking to take things back in time a little.

"It was a really good place, and we want to get back to the way it was, and make like a really local place where people can come and hang out," says Uday Subramanian, who bought the business in January.

When Subramanian purchased the restaurant, it had been operating as a Champs Chicken for four or five years, he says, with a convenience store and gas station on one side and a place for truckers to relax and refresh upstairs.

The previous owner did extensive remodeling inside the building, he says, as the place had been deteriorating over the years.

"It was run-down and he really turned it around," Subramanian says. "He added the upstairs."

But, he says, the food had gotten away from its roots and had become another fast-food chain.

"And that killed this place," he says. "Now we're trying to bring it back to an old-style type of diner."

Subramanian did some digging into Olde Stone's history and found that it had long been a place where locals came not only to eat, but also to socialize. He figured the menu was the best place to start with the changes, and then the rest would fall into place.

In March, Subramanian hired Reynold Vaz as his restaurant manager, and Vaz began to flesh out the menu. They also brought several experienced cooks and servers on-board, some of whom had previously worked at Olde Stone.

"We are doing everything that was done back then," says Vaz. "The portions are bigger and the food is more of the home-cooked. There's no frozen food."

Some things are made on site, he adds, like the potato and macaroni salads and cole slaw.

"The potato and macaroni salads are my mother's recipes," says server Patricia Streit, who has worked at Old Stone on and off over the past 20 or so years.

"This is my third time around here," she says. "My heart and soul is definitely in this

One of the restaurant's best-sellers is the Trucker's Big Breakfast, Vaz says, which consists of three eggs, two slices of bacon, a slice of ham, biscuit and gravy, home fries and toast -- all for $8.75.

"The hamburger steak does very well. The Maryland crab cakes do very well," Vaz says. "Our chicken is also very famous. It's fresh chicken and we make our own breading here."

In addition to breakfast, which is served all day, the menu has home-style lunch and dinner choices, with daily specials.

One regular customer is happy about the changes.

Bobby Carter, of Stephenson, says he has been eating at the Olde Stone since the 1940s.

"Ever since I was a little boy," he says. "There's a lot of history. Things have changed. They used to have an old gas pump in the front."

Carter says he's always liked the food, and now gravy and biscuits are among his favorites.

"I'm an old country boy, so I'll eat just about anything here," he says.

Vaz says there are several regulars who stop by almost every day, as well as truckers and travelers who are passing through.

"They are really liking the food," he says. "Everybody likes home-cooked meals."

Subramanian is keeping the convenience store, truck stop and gas pumps as they are for now, but he has plans to add a sports bar, complete with pool tables, above the restaurant. The upper floor is spacious, presently serving as a lounge for truck drivers. There also is a separate smoking room with its own ventilation system.

But for now, the restaurant is where their heart is.

"We're trying to get this place on its feet first," Subramanian says. "There's plenty of fast food around. We want the home-style restaurant to come back, and we feel like there's a lot of potential here."

The Olde Stone Restaurant and Truck Stop is located at 3425 Martinsburg Pike in Clear Brook. The restaurant is open 24 hours on Fridays and Saturdays. For more information, visit them on Facebook, where daily specials are listed.

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