ANACORTES, Wash. — Dad’s Diner in the heart of Anacortes is a restaurant that lives up to its name.
More than 500 framed photos of beloved fathers, brought in by customers, are displayed from floor to ceiling.
"I had three people come in today that were like, 'Where can I put a picture of my dad?'” said co-owner Fletcher McClean.
When he and Neil Stuchal opened the diner, they wanted to create a place that felt like home. But they never imagined their collection of photos would grow so big, or that their seats would stay so full.
"It's humbling,” Stuchal said. “You never expect to open a restaurant and be this busy all the time."
The scratch-made menu accounts for a lot of business. They grind their own beef and make their own hot sauce to top burgers, sandwiches, and breakfasts.
But most customers come for the food and stay for the experience.
"It's the things that bring people together in life - we believe it's food, music, family, laughter, and friendship,” McClean said.
For 90-year-old George Flippo, it’s also a sense of belonging. One of the framed photos is a decades-old snapshot of him playing the sousaphone.
"(I was) 18, just joined the army,” he said. "I was in the army band and it went very well."
He’s now a regular at Dad’s Diner.
"I get a little emotional because this is his favorite place to come,” said his daughter Cathy Tribuzio.
The owners hope every diner feels like family when they leave.
"One of the best compliments we've ever gotten is we had a customer say, 'It's not so much that I went out to eat but I was invited over for lunch,’” McClean said. "That's truly what we want to have happen for everybody who walks through the door."
Dad’s Diner | 906 Commercial Ave, Anacortes, WA 98221 | OPEN DAILY 7am – 4pm | (360) 899-5269