Family-owned Perkins in Maplewood closes after decades in business

Today was the final day in business for the Perkins in Maplewood along White Bear Avenue. (FOX 9)

Over the years, a family-owned Perkin’s restaurant in Maplewood has become woven into the fabric of that local community.  But after many decades, Sunday was their last day of business, as owner Debra Pedro has decided to move on to the next part of her life.

"As today hits it’s starting to get a little scary, I’ve been doing this for 42 years," Pedro told FOX 9. "I’m going to miss everybody… it’s kind of sad."

Pedro bought the restaurant off White Bear Avenue in 2002 and since then it’s been a place diners come to for the experience, just as much as for the food, "We greet 90% of our customers by their first name," Pedro said.

Helen Grace Bauer sits at the same booth for breakfast time on every Sunday morning, "One time I didn’t come for two weeks and the waitress called me at home and said are you ok?" Bauer said.

For Bauer, and many others, Deb’s Perkins has become a part of life. At first, the food brought them together, but now the relationships keep them coming back. Debra worries about those loyal diners, but she’s ready for what’s ahead. She’s decided to sell the property to a neighboring business, rather than renew her franchise for a minimum of five more years.

"For the first few days I’m going to sit on my butt and not set my alarm clock," she said.

"I’m happy for Deb, she deserves to retire, it’s bittersweet but actually not bitter," longtime server Victoria Nichols finished.