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With food and hugs, S&S Cafeteria makes a final bow

Jan 31, 2011 12:04:00 AM - thestate.com
Almost 800 people turned out Sunday for one last meal at Columbia’s S&S cafeteria — where home-style eats from gravy-soaked country steak to a most excellent cherry pie have been served for 64 years.

“This is my last chance to get some crackling cornbread!” said Margaret Smith, 50, the last person in line before S&S closed its doors for good shortly after 2:30 p.m. at Richland Mall. Members of her family — she had her daughter, Nikita, and 3-year-old grandson, Akari, with her — have been coming to S&S for some 30 years.

It wasn’t just the food customers raved about Sunday — it was the personal touches by the dozen-plus waitresses who enjoy a reputation for being as friendly as they are efficient.

“Estelle (Waddell, her longtime waitress) will see us in line and give a little wave. That means she has the table fixed — she’s the best,” said Rosellen “Ro-ro” Faulk, 83, who’s been coming to S&S for “Oh, I’d say about 50 years.” She was having some favorites: country steak, lima beans, German chocolate pie and sweet tea.

Faulk and her daughter, Rosanne Sullivan, 54, were the first people in line Sunday. They arrived at 10:30 a.m., 30 minutes before opening.