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Ernest and Irene opened Schwart Diner in 1951 with dreams of one day growing into a culinary empire. Disappointingly, the promised chain of establishments has yet to appear. The legend of this humble premises is woven of two threads: the first, an all-day breakfast that sustains weary souls, and the second, a brush with the divine in Tony Curtis’s visage, as recounted by the ever-vigilant Irene.

Adorning the hallowed walls above the counter, a treasured relic of Mr. Curtis’ presence blesses the diner. Undeterred by whispers of doubt from Angelo, who cast shadows upon the photograph’s authenticity, Irene stands sentinel over the original decor. Now enshrined as a landmark since the cinematic masterpiece ‘Grease’ graced the silver screen.

Beside this temple of nourishment, a deli thrives under the watchful eye of Hanna, Irene’s daughter. The absence of a wedding ring on her finger weighs heavy upon her mother’s heart, who fears a future of spinsterhood for her beloved offspring. But Hanna remains unburdened by such concerns, her heart enlivened by pastries and the sweet secrets they hold.

For, in truth, a clandestine romance has blossomed between Hanna and a certain delivery man, hampered only by the small inconvenience of a wife—a fact veiled from Irene. And so, the world turns, and the Schwartz Diner stands, a beacon of sustenance for its patrons.

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© LewisChard 2020