Crossing diner is a family affair
duo make their
750th breakfast outing together
PARIS CROSSING, Ind. Dining at The Breakfast
Club in Paris Crossing doesnt require a membership card, but after
the meal you cant help but get to know the staff and clientele.
It starts with your seating at a table with virtual strangers and ends
with a full stomach and a feeling that you have become a member of the
by Don Ward
Owner Pat Short keeps the conversation going, greeting
each guest who passes through her door with a friendly hello
as she sits near the back of the room peeling potatoes that will eventually
become tasty hash browns smothered in white gravy. Shorts restaurant,
which is inside her own home on Hwy. 250 in southern Jennings County,
is open six days a week and often has guests waiting outside for a table
especially on Saturday mornings, her busiest day.
Nearly every one of the employees are relatives, including her son Stephen,
who makes the restaurants famous cinnamon rolls, daughter-in-law
Sondra, daughter Stephanie Pearson, and sister Brenda Hughes. Other
employees include Wanda Marcum, waiter Ryan Kuzdal and dishwasher Susie
The Breakfast Club, which seats only 30 people at a time at the six
tables, is closed on Sundays because, as Short says, Sunday is
a day for me to be with my own family.
There are dozens of regular customers here, but two men from Madison
in particular have become more than regulars over the past four years.
Irvin Stockdale and Robert Chandler have been eating breakfast together
every Wednesday morning for years, with the past four years at The Breakfast
Club. On Nov. 16, they celebrated their 750th breakfast together. Several
of the regulars at the Club congratulated the men and Stockdale
even received a congratulatory telephone call from his daughter in Mt.
Its just something we started doing after we retired from
I.K.E.C. power plant, and weve been doing it ever since,
said Stockdale, 77.
He and Chandler, 78, met and became close friends while working in the
coal yard at I.K.E.C. in Madison. Stockdale says he considers his friend
like a brother since he had no brother. Together, they make
the half-hour trip each Wednesday to Paris Crossing.
by Don Ward
Breakfast Club in Paris Crossing, Ind.
You never know who youre going to meet here,
Stockdale said. Its like one big happy family.
The two first began their weekly breakfast jaunts on Nov. 5, 1986. Stockdale
keeps a handwritten record of their outings. They made their first trip
to The Breakfast Club on June 15, 1994.
Everyone here knows Bob and Irvin, said Stephen Short, who
cooks and waits tables. He even knows by heart what the two men order
the usual, Stockdale tells him.
But after five years of operation, Pat Short closed her restaurant for
three years, beginning in February 1998, due to her increasing problems
with asthma. With the help of family members, Short re-opened The Breakfast
Club four years ago.
Today, she receives help from nearly everyone in her immediate family
except her husband, Danny Short, who is retired from Cummins Engines.
All he does now is drink coffee and play golf, Pat Short
To his credit, however, Danny and his brother, Larry, built the counter
that runs the length of what was previously Pats dining room and
by Don Ward
makes the famous cinnamon rolls.
Ive always worked around food, so this was
something I always wanted to do instead of working for someone else,
said Short, 56, who has five children and has helped to raise 11 foster
John and Carol Sargent of Deputy are regulars because of the good
food and fellowship, said John Sargent.
We have a lot of fun around here, and weve fed a lot of
people. Whatever her secret to success, Short has many loyal customers
who keep coming back.
Just ask Stockdale and Chandler.
The Breakfast Club is located on Hwy. 250 near
the intersection of Hwys. 3 and 250. Hours are 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. Monday
through Saturday. For information, call (812) 346-2193.
Back to December 2005