Dec 16, 2012 9:20 PM by Hope Hanselman, KSBY News

Community surprises Morro Bay restaurant owner for 25th anniversary

Sunday was a wet one along the Central Coast and a great day to warm up with a gathering of close friends.

That's just what a small community in Morro Bay did today as Carla's Country Kitchen celebrated 25 years in business.

On any given Sunday, you'll find a good portion of the city of Morro Bay huddled inside, lining up for a taste of what Carla Borschard is serving.

But, on this particular Sunday, Carla was surprised to find out what her customers had cooking.

"We wanted to let her know how many people love and appreciate her right here in Morro Bay," Gary Ream, of Morro Bay, said.

He organized a celebration for her 25 years of Sunday gatherings.

"There's been two recessions and some challenging times in Morro Bay, but really, what's made this so special for me and for all of us has been the community," Carla said.

Her loyal customers have stuck by her side through the highs and lows of the economy. She's joined each day by friends who knew her to serve the community with more than just biscuits and gravy.

"She was one of the early ladies in the fire service in this area and she would do everything that any of the rest of the male firefighters would do, sometimes more," Randy Bello, of Morro Bay, said.

They all came with their stories Sunday. They'll tell you they come for what's on the menu, but they stay for who's at the table. As Ream describes it, Carla's Country Kitchen is a place "where friends come to meet friends and have good food and average service." Laughs filled the restaurant all day.

On any given Sunday, Carla will serve the fire department, the city council, the police chief, but the title will be dropped at the door.

"She makes everybody feel like they're the only person in this restaurant when they come in," Ream said.

Inside those doors, right off the harbor, is a warmth that reminds us: when it rains, it pours.

Carla bought the restaurant when it was one small room.

She has since more than doubled its size and kept some staff for 20 years.

She celebrated with friends until closing her doors tonight.



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