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The last diner in Maricopa

Tina's Diner has been around for 50 years and is the last and only place in downtown Maricopa to grab a bite to eat
Posted at 6:04 PM, Apr 08, 2024

MARICOPA, Calif. (KERO) — Tina's Diner has been around for 50 years and is the last and only place in downtown Maricopa to grab a bite to eat.

  • Fatima Johnson started her buisness at 25 years old and continues to do so at 75 years old.
  • Tina's Diner has been a grub hub in Maricopa for the past 50 years.
  • The diner is struggling to stay open due to inflation.

BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT:

One of the oldest businesses in the town of Maricopa has been the only tenant in this strip mall along California Street in the downtown area. The person, that's keeping it going, is 75-year-old Fatima Johnson.

“If you are on a diet, wrong place to come…it’s just old home cooking that’s all,” says Fatima Johnson.

Fatima Johnson has been running Tina's diner for the past 50 years, ever since she came to America from the Philippines at 25 years old. It's been challenging at times, dealing with break-ins through the years, and most recently, an increase in her PG&E bill. She says she's a people person, and that's what 'powers' her business.

“I’m a sucker for everybody, I’m one of those people that give give give” continues Fatima.

Richard Albright has been a regular at the diner for the past 45 years and tells me he's seen people from all over feel the joy of this tiny diner.

She’s on the map she has a lot of passages that come through folks that come from Europe that like to travel they rent out motorcycles, and somehow end up driving down 133,” says Albright.

Richard says he mainly sees Fatima work by herself, other than that, he knows she has her nephew and a few guys to help her, sporadically.

“it’s sort of a lonely deal, she's a one-woman show so to speak” continues Albright.

And she won't be alone very long, anew business is slated to open next door in the coming days.


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