Pam Weirauch, owner of Pam’s Corner at 116 10th St., is closing her immensely popular restaurant at 2 p.m. Wednesday after the lunch service.
As she posted on Facebook last week: “16 years ago Pam’s Corner began as a solution to my mid-life crisis. I needed a challenge and I wanted to meet new people. All of that happened and in the process I have learned so much about business, people and myself. My favorite part has been the relationships. Sometimes it’s a joke, a tear, a hug, a smile or a half hour conversation but each and every interaction has warmed my soul and nourished me through all the difficult and crazy days ...
“Pam’s Corner has been the opportunity of a lifetime. To everyone who has ever crossed our threshold, today is the day that I officially thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
CHEAP EATS: Deals that can’t be missed at Pam’s corner
Pam has been my friend for nearly the full four years that I’ve lived here. We met at the Mobile Meals Great Chili Cook-Off in 2014, just a few weeks after I’d moved to Toledo to work for The Blade. We were seated next to each other at the judges’ table, a tradition that has continued each subsequent year at the same event.
So when I’ve visited her restaurant, it’s always been an opportunity to catch up with my friend.
But then, I think half of Toledo could say the same thing, because Pam seems to know everyone in town. We’re all mourning the imminent loss of a favorite place and the opportunity to drop in as though popping into Pam’s own kitchen for a chat and a home-cooked meal.
A few steps down in the lower level of the Davis Building, Pam’s Corner could have been dark and dingy. Instead, it is as full of color and joy as Pam is. There are shelves dedicated to local artists who sell note cards and pottery, because Pam is a tremendous community supporter who shines a light on all that is good in Toledo while brightening the city herself.
But her parents are elderly and require more care these days. (Life can be tough in the Sandwich Generation, and Pam’s Corner has been her baby, after all.) I know that staffing has been an issue, as it is for virtually all restaurants, with the tremendous exception of Steve Moss, Pam’s right-hand man. He welcomes customers — friends — just as Pam does: kibbitzing with them, sharing jokes, teasing a bit, and making sure they feel at home.
Steve has always known I’d order the chili, though neither he nor I have ever known what I’d pick to go with it until the words left my lips. But he doesn’t quite know what he’ll do next, other than enjoy some time off, because that’s something he’s never taken before throughout his career.
Those factors, and others that are more personal, have played a role in the decision to close the cozy café. It’s tough to be a single woman who’s a small business owner, even though Pam has always made it look like fun. While it seemed that her days were devoted to cooking and chatting, behind the scenes shopping, ordering, staffing, prepping, scheduling, and many other responsibilities consumed her time.
Pam’s Corner has billed itself as hard to find but impossible to forget. Please know that we who have loved it will not forget the restaurant as it heads into Toledo history.
It has always been a joy to stop by for a good meal and — most importantly — a chance to chat with very dear friends. May you be well and happy in your new adventures.
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