Hunter’s Restaurant, DeLand’s oldest eatery, closes its doors after owner sells business
DELAND — Every Sunday for the previous 5 yrs, Steve Jones has appear to Hunter’s Restaurant with his wife for a breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon and sourdough toast with tomatoes.
And while the food is fantastic, it is really the persons powering the city’s oldest cafe who have kept customers like Jones and plenty of other people coming in weekly, often a number of situations per 7 days, for a number of many years or, for some patrons, many years.
“Which is the motive I made a decision to do this,” Jones, 68, reported keeping up his cafe punch card that he requested Hunter’s crew users to sign. “It can be going to be sorely skipped in DeLand.”
The crew at Hunter’s Sunday will dish up breakfast and lunch a person previous time.
A article on the restaurant’s Fb site broke the information and subsequently the hearts of a great number of buyers on May 15.
It browse, in aspect: “It is with a sad coronary heart and combined emotions to tell DeLand that we have marketed Hunter’s and will be closing our doors on Sunday, May possibly 29th. Following 73 decades proudly serving DeLand and West Volusia, our owner has made the decision to retire. We would like to thank all of our faithful and devoted shoppers. Without you and the multi-generational people that have grow to be portion of our relatives, the very last 73 yrs would not have been possible.”
The publish experienced virtually 200 opinions as of Friday.
“You have served DeLand perfectly,” Kathy Expand Collums wrote. “Do not be unfortunate or significant hearted. Get pleasure from the future chapter of your life.”
Proprietor Mike Marlow mentioned retiring from the restaurant organization has been in the functions for a although.
“It was time to provide it and get out while the getting’s good,” Marlow, 57, said Thursday. “The only factor I’m going to overlook is the buyers due to the fact we’ve obtained some wonderful buyers.”
A Vietnamese restaurant is established to just take its position.
“I never know who’s going to cook dinner me rooster and dumplings now,” one female claimed as she exited the restaurant immediately after lunch.
Even though sitting down following to his brother Kenny Marlow, 59, in a booth by the entrance of Hunter’s, the brothers mirrored on the household restaurant’s record and place in the neighborhood about the earlier 73 many years.
Heritage of a typical
Since previous September, Mike Marlow has been cooking up vintage relatives recipes, these types of as rooster and dumplings, meatloaf and coconut crème pie, at 111 E. Loaded Ave., formerly property to Bellini’s Deli.
But for most of its lifestyle, Hunter’s served up breakfast favorites out of 202 N. Woodland Blvd., which now residences Pumpernickel Pops Smoke and Vape Shop.
Paul and Carolene Hunter entered the cafe business in the late 1940s when they bought the Chat-N-Nibble at 210 N. Woodland Blvd. They bought the establishment to their son Paul Hunter Jr. the pursuing calendar year.
In 1959, Hunter Jr. moved his enterprise to the southeast corner of North Woodland Boulevard and East Wealthy Avenue, now Pioneer Park.
He ran a second locale for quite a few many years in the late 1950s in downtown Daytona Beach front. That area closed in 1961 owing to a fire that nearly value the restaurateur his lifetime.
20 a long time later on, Hunter Jr. missing his downtown DeLand place to, all over again, a fireplace.
Photographs: Murals in downtown DeLand
The well known convenience food location moved to the intersection’s northwest corner the next yr.
Mike Marlow mentioned his uncle only reopened the cafe at the community’s insistence.
In 1983, Hunter Jr. sold his company to a married pair, but bought the cafe back a 10 years afterwards when the pair break up up.
A several a long time ago, Marlow claimed he tried using to offer the organization, but his landlord blocked it.
Hunter’s survived the pandemic in the 202 N. Woodland Blvd. site with enable from federal COVID-19 relief, but Marlow decided to transfer down the street when the hire practically doubled.
Marlow said it is really their neighborhood buyers they’ll skip the most.
More than the many years, the cafe been given visits from its share of noteworthy figures this sort of as Jimmy Carter for the duration of his presidential campaign, the late former legal professional normal Janet Reno, former congressman John Mica and Sen. Rick Scott.
As children, the Marlow brothers ate breakfast at the restaurant, where by mother Nancy Hunter worked as a server, and then walked to faculty.
“It was like a playground for us,” Kenny explained, introducing that at the very least 50 percent of their relatives members labored there at one time or another above the many years. “A person aunt built pies, another aunt produced cakes.”
Their mother took the cafe over from her brother in 1999.
She arrived at 4:30 each individual early morning, expending the to start with hour, her preferred portion of her 12-hour workday, undertaking the prep function for breakfast and lunch while listening to the radio.
In 2005 Kenny moved again to DeLand to support his mom with the eatery.
A carpenter by trade, Kenny explained he by no means prepared on getting into the cafe business because he understood how time-consuming it was.
“If you ain’t accomplishing a thing in this article or repairing a thing in this article, you’re going to the retail store to get some thing for in this article,” Kenny claimed.
Mike moved back to DeLand in 2011 to assist with the restaurant, typically in the kitchen area.
“He’s bought far more finesse on the meringue than I do,” Kenny explained.
But in her 70s, Nancy could however outcook her sons.
“It was just easy,” Mike stated.
Kenny echoed that sentiment.
“What does the function of two guys? Just one lady,” Kenny mentioned. “And that was our mother, she was a equipment.”
The brothers took more than virtually a decade back when Nancy retired.
Kenny retired previous yr but has even now served out his younger brother when needed.
The brothers, equally of whom are shifting to Waynesboro, Tennessee, agreed their favorite element of doing work in the enterprise was aiding carry on a legacy and expending time with their mom, who died in 2017 at 78 many years previous.
Mike’s fiancée Erica Braddock, a longtime server at Hunter’s, reported she’s acquired a selection of close friend requests on Fb from patrons in their 70s and 80s considering that they announced the closure.
“I get shut to the shoppers,” Braddock claimed. “They know my daily life.”
The previous two weeks also saw a variety of consumers inquiring Mike if they could obtain the outdated sign that survived the fire or other mementos from the cafe.
For a lot more than sentimental factors, Mike is holding on to them.
“My cousin might one particular working day action up, and Hunter’s may well increase out of the ashes.”
This posting at first appeared on The Daytona Seashore News-Journal: Hunter’s Cafe in DeLand closing immediately after owner sells company