TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – When you find something you’re good at, you might as well stick with it.
News 10’s Ross Rowling found one local waitress who’s been putting smiles on the faces of customers for years.
The Saratoga has been a fixture on the corner of 5th and Wabash for almost 75 years. It was founded in 1942 by Abe Malooley and his brother, Joe.
It’s been family owned and operated for generations.
The bar, recently renovated, is one of the things that’s changed over the years. But then, there’s the waitress who’s been a constant.
“One day Abey called me and Kate said come on we just want you to try and if you like it stay,” Betty Azar. “He gave me a table of 10, I’ll never forget that front table 10. I waited on them and he said now you want to work, and I said I guess so.”
That day was back in 1975.
“I love it here and I love the people, I love the customers. All the customers have always been so nice to me.”
And Betty has been there ever since; greeting customers, committing orders to memory and trying to stay current with the changing technology.
“Oh yes, it’s changed. They’ve got that silly machine back there that I can’t keep up with.”
A lot has happened since Betty started.
Her son married into the Malooley family, and now she works side by side with her granddaughter, Alexis.
“Every day I think to myself, when I’m her age I hope I can be doing what she’s doing because she’s so happy, she loves it, she looks forward to it,” Alexis said.
“My granddaughter told me that she had a couple people call her wanting to know what day I come in because they just love to talk to me you know,” Betty commented.
Now 91, she only works Thursday afternoons, but Betty brings the same contagious energy she brought to the table 40 years ago.
“This is something she looks forward to and wants to do and I think it keeps her young, I really do.”
The bond is a bonus.
“I really think it’s special that we get to work together and I know that when that time comes that we can’t anymore it’s going to be really hard.”
But until that day comes, the patrons will laugh and your meal will come out with that familiar infectious smile, which is a true Saratoga delight.