Several of us still try to get together about once a month for a breakfast. Current and retired drivers and sometimes some maintenance staff join us. The past few years have been tough with the deaths of charter members Ron Lowe, Walter Hart and Carl Cambridge.
At first we moved our breakfast around the city from Brownsburg to Lawrence to Southport. Finally, we decided on a permanent location: Sisters’ Place on Terrace Avenue. We meet the second Friday of the month and have a great meal while enjoying the camaraderie.
A couple of weeks ago I was informed that Sisters’ Place might be closing, so my wife, Lyn, and I headed there for lunch. While eating one of the famous “Copy Cat” salads, we were told that owner Carole Pope was retiring and had sold the business.
The restaurant was started in 1983 by Carole and her sister, Linda Dickson, and was originally located a few blocks north of Garfield Park on Shelby Street. They used several recipes from their mother, Rachel Richter.
A few years later, Carole became sole owner. Her son Shawn Bryson joined her in the business in 1990, and the diner outgrew the former service station that it was housed in.
I was surprised to learn that my friend Dale Elrod teamed with Carole and Shawn to relocate the restaurant to its present building, which used to be home to Miller’s Regal Market before it was nearly destroyed in a fire. Dale and Carole gutted the structure and enlarged it.
Carole’s son Rick Bryson operated the business from 1999- 2005 to give Carole the opportunity to pursue other interests. In 2005, she resumed her role as sole proprietor, and her daughter, Alicia “Sunshine” Beyers, became assistant manager.
I had a chance to visit with Carole the last time I was there, and she gave me a menu, whose backside gave an account of the restaurant’s history. She pointed out that several servers and kitchen employees had been valued employees for more than 16 years.
A couple of the servers who we looked forward to seeing were Diane Blythe, a 22-year employee, and Margaret Warner. These gals always made us feel welcome and put a smile on our faces. They knew exactly how to deal with a bunch of crazy guys who came in for breakfast and seemed to tell the same stories over and over.
On a couple of occasions I have visited Sisters’ with a group of my former Southport High School classmates. This group, which was an all-girl bunch until I was inducted several years ago, meets monthly for lunch.
Lots and lots of folks from all over Indianapolis are going to miss the friends that provided us with such a great experience each time we visited Sisters’ Place.