Rita Saville, her family and faithful staff invited out the community of Boyertown Monday night to take part in the diner’s fiftieth anniversary celebration.
The parking lot hosted a sixties themed car show while inside both veteran and newbie staffers served up local favorites from a menu nearly unchanged over the last fifty years to rock n’ roll tunes of days gone by.
In usual fashion Rita has the walls splendidly decorated for the holidays, all the seats were filled and the lobby full.
Fifty years ago, Jonas Saville, Rita’s father, while working for a diner in Emmaus heard about the little place on a highway not yet built and after having a look, decided to buy the place. For a hundred dollars per week for two years and a handshake, Saville’s was open for business. The year was 1962. Since then much has changed around the dinner.
Roads that never were, are now congested, land that stood vacant now lays beneath homes and shopping centers, even the diner has changed over the years. Ricky Saville recalls route one-hundred being shut down so the dining rooms additions could be trucked in.
But inside, waitresses still shuffle past one another cracking jokes while serving up hot coffee and the best gram cracker pie and éclairs to devoted patrons, while Terry and Helen keep the grill hot and the food amazing.
No one would deny that Rita runs a tight ship, but her loving crew some who have been with the diner since its start, all say the same. There isn’t a thing she wouldn’t do for another.
Lori Moser recalls being a petrified six-teen year old when Rita taught her the ropes.
Barbara and Marie, house jokesters whose friendship began years ago when they started working together at Saville’s, got serious to talk about their boss.
“On the holidays when we are at home relaxing Rita is here getting ready for the next holiday and making sure the place looks great.”
Jordan and Ryan, Rita’s grandsons are some of the newer, younger additions to the team but having grown up around the restaurant, recalled memories of Halloween parties and always having the same meal every time they came to visit.
Jordan, “I always get the roast beef sandwich.”
Ryan, “Halloween use to have a western theme, one year I dressed up as a cowboy. I ran around shooting the sheriff, so to speak. My grandmother was, and still is, the sheriff.”
There may not be enough time to tell all the stories Saville’s has to offer but there is plenty of time to make more.