One of Trevor Bartlett’s most treasured memories is giving his mother a hug in front of their family restaurant’s kitchen.
Years later, he runs his own diner named in honour of his parents Mary and Larry Bartlett, who owned the former Capricorn Restaurant in Truro before they passed away.
“It’s still in my blood, I can’t give it up,” said Bartlett, owner of Mary & Larry’s Diner & Take Out. “Here I am again, in their honour I guess, cooking their old favourite recipes.”
Bartlett’s Willow Street eatery serves classic diner fare: burgers, pan-fried haddock, fish and chips, freshly-cut fries and home-style desserts.
Many of his clientele are former Capricorn customers who once enjoyed the dishes prepared by Bartlett’s parents.
One of them is Beverly Whidden from Shortts Lake, who dug into her dish of potato scallops and roast ham. Her husband Gary enjoyed a burger and fries.
“It was an excellent place to go and eat,” she said of the Capricorn. “We were sad when it closed up.”
Bartlett said the Capricorn closed just over 10 years ago, in late 2009. His father had passed away in 2007. His mother followed in 2011.
He started off working for his parents when he was just 14 years old, at the former Ponderosa Steakhouse restaurant in Truro, where his mother was the manager.
Bartlett began working at the Capricorn as a chef for his parents when he was 17.
Currently, he lives in Truro Heights with his young son, Hunter.
He first opened Mary & Larry’s Diner & Take Out on Nov. 20 last year. Since then, business has been “better than I thought it would be.”
“It’s a little emotional,” said Bartlett. “It’s nice to see everyone enjoying the food, there’s a lot of old faces coming in and really looking forward to tasting it again.”
Asked what her favourite dish was at the new restaurant, Whidden replied, “I don’t have a favourite. It’s all good food.”
Mary & Larry’s Diner & Take Out is located at 710 Willow St. It is open seven days a week.