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By Matthew Manosh

April 15, 2022 (Pine Valley) -- Major's Diner (also known as Major’s Coffee Shop) has been a staple in the Pine Valley community for over 60 years since its doors first opened in 1961.

The 1950s-themed restaurant features memorabilia from Betty Boop, James Dean movie posters, vintage records and an old-fashioned car hood right above the serving area. It has served the Pine Valley community for a place to meet, grab coffee and a hot meal for six decades—but it’s now in danger of closing its doors.

Since October 2021, the owners have had a GoFundMe fundraiser asking for help so that they can pay their backlog of bills and enable the diner can continue serving fare from cheeseburgers to cappuccinos.

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the diner was forced to shut down temporarily, but was unable to get any government grants. The shutdown resulted in outstanding bills with SDG&E, their landlord and other companies. Even when restaurants were allowed to reopen for outdoor dining, cold winter weather and even snow made this challenging for restaurants in San Diego’s mountain towns such as Pine Valley.

East County Magazine sat down with the current owner of Majors Diner, Debi Rushing McNamara, who has been running it since 2005—the business’s fourth owner.

“You know, when they shut everything down for COVID, we had no business at all. We were able to stay open for to-go, but we were doing $100 to $200 a day, and having the same bills that we had,” she explained.

During this time, a few of the providers of monthly services including SDG&E still maintained those services to Majors, but the eight months of past due bills need to be paid. The goal of the GoFundMe page for the diner is $40,000. Since October they have raised $6,867, though that doesn’t include the in person donations they have received.

McNamara hopes that the goal will be reached by the summer.

“When everything started going again, people came in. It was amazing. That people came back and they came from all over the county,” said McNamara

The current operating hours for Major’s Diner are Thursday through Sunday 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.

To make a donation, click here.

To learn more, visit Major’s Diner on Facebook.

Take a walk down memory lane by viewing more photos below.

































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