After 56 years of serving fresh bacon and eggs cooked to perfection, Eldersburg’s first sit-down restaurant shut its doors forever on Tuesday afternoon.
Harvest Inn Family Restaurant owner Carol Trombetta said a bittersweet farewell to the place that was her livelihood, second home and family legacy with one final breakfast served. Trombetta, 58, said the restaurant had been a staple of the community and customers have cried about its closing.
“I grew up in it as a child,” she said. “It’s all I’ve ever known.”
Trombetta and her husband, Tony Trombetta, took over ownership in 1993. Tony was the restaurant’s sole manager before it closed and Carol said Harvest Inn could not stay open because her husband could no longer handle the physical toll. She stopped working at the restaurant years ago due to a combination of physical ailments.
The Trombettas met while they were both working as dishwashers at Harvest Inn. She was 14 and he was 18 at the time.
The restaurant space will be used by a business that rents heavy equipment. Carol Trombetta said the rental company has shown interest in hiring Harvest Inn’s workers.
“It’s hard to say goodbye to everybody, but it’s time,” she said. “But I think we’ve been such a staple in the game for all these years. I tend to thank my parents for when they started it.”
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The restaurant was opened by Carol Trombetta’s father, Harry Fischer, in 1966 as a coffee shop called Liberty Drive Inn. An experienced carpenter, Fischer personally designed and built upgrades to the building that allowed the business to flourish as a restaurant.
Carol Trombetta said opening the Harvest Inn was a great risk for her then-impoverished parents. A butcher by trade, Fischer opened Harvest Inn Family Restaurant because Eldersburg already had a butcher, Carol Trombetta said, and because her mother, Jean Fischer, was an amazing cook.
“It is kind of sad that my father won’t be able to be here during all this,” Trombetta said, “because he and my mother are the ones that worked really hard to take a chance with what money they did have.”
Trombetta said running a family restaurant is a difficult business.
“It’s such hard work,” she said. “People don’t realize it, until you get into the restaurant business.”