If eating at Nancy's Home Cooking brings back memories of your family's kitchen, that's because the no-frills Clintonville diner is somebody's family's kitchen.
Cindy King's relatives have been helping out at the lunch and breakfast joint since King bought it 40 years ago. When health and financial problems forced King to close Nancy's in May 2009, passionate customers banded together to raise money and keep it alive. King's niece, Sheila Davis-Hahn, was able to renovate and take over the restaurant after receiving $15,000 in donations.
"There was no need for Nancy's to close with all the donations from the community," Davis-Hahn said. "So why should it?"
Other than getting things up to code, it's been business as usual since Nancy's reopened last Feb. 19.
"It's pretty much the same operation," Davis-Hahn said. "It's what my aunts built."
That includes a menu stocked with hearty meals, headlined by King's famous chicken and noodles. Breakfast is now served all day, and Davis-Hahn's mother will soon contribute homemade desserts.
In a twist reminiscent of "It's a Wonderful Life," Davis-Hahn opted out of graduate school to take over Nancy's. She said preserving the family business was a no-brainer, even though it meant a pay cut.
"I think I'd rather have the fun than the money," she said.