Classic country cooking comes to Strasburg
STRASBURG – When mother and daughter pair Sharon and Jackie Ferguson decided they were going to open a diner on East Queen Street in Strasburg, people told them it was too out of the way of the main strip. However, thanks to the power of social media, that hasn’t seemed to be an issue for them.
The Queen Street Diner, located at 728 East Queen St., opened May 13. Intended to be more of a soft opening, the Fergusons were overwhelmed by the response they received from the community.
“We snuck open right before Mayfest. We didn’t really advertise other than our Facebook page, but that kind of blew up, so the word got out quickly whether we wanted it to or not. We wanted to practice a little bit but we held our own,” said Jackie Ferguson.
The diner has been in such high demand since opening that the biggest issues facing the Fergusons have been keeping the kitchen stocked and not having enough parking for their customers.
“People say that they come and they wait, and we close at 8 p.m. and they’re still waiting in line. I say anyone waiting in line can have a seat; I’m still seating people at 8:30 at night,” said Jackie Ferguson. “People are finding us, one way or another.”
Serving a menu of classic diner food, including breakfast all day, the Fergusons say they have been inundated with support and positive feedback.
“I couldn’t even begin to thank half of the people who have helped. I honestly and truly think the town needed something at this time. That’s why this has been a success,” said Sharon Ferguson.
Lifelong residents of Strasburg, Jackie and Sharon Ferguson have been in the food service industry for decades. Jackie spent 28 years at the Hi Neighbor restaurant until its closure in March, while her mother spent nearly that long cooking at the Strasburg Moose Lodge.
When Jackie found herself suddenly unemployed, she and her mother decided to finally take the plunge and open their own diner. “We never really planned this. It just kind of rolled and went. I was ready, she was ready and the town was ready for it, so it worked out great,” said Sharon Ferguson.
With a staff of 13 employees, Sharon runs the kitchen while Jackie handles the front end of the business. Their food is made fresh in-house.
“We deal with a local meat company, Crabill’s in Toms Brook, and we make sausage gravy from scratch every morning. We have real mashed potatoes; we do our own roast beef, our own turkey. So, it’s not lunch meat; it’s comfort food,” said Jackie Ferguson.
The Queen Street Diner has been open for a month, and much to the joy of the Fergusons, they already have regulars. One group of about eight to 10 men comes every morning prior to opening and has coffee while they wait to order, something Jackie Ferguson says they used to do at the Hi Neighbor.
“The Hi Neighbor was a big loss for this town. It was the only family style, country-cooking, sit-down restaurant and it’s been there for all of those years,” said Jackie Ferguson. “I think after that closed, we waited just long enough for them to really miss the feeling of that homemade country cooking.”
The Queen Street Diner is open from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Monday, 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday. For more information, visit its Facebook page at http://tiny.cc/397kzx or call (540) 465-4658.
Contact staff writer Hilary Legge at 540-465-5137 ext. 184, or email@example.com
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