- Associated Press - Monday, May 15, 2017

KANKAKEE, Ill. (AP) - Even on her last day at Blue’s Cafe, Connie Suprenant was busy, a pitcher of water in one hand and iced tea in the other. She joked around with three customers at a booth, swapping stories about the governor or when the David Letterman show came to town. The four of them posed for a picture together and the customers wished her well in retirement.

How long have they known Suprenant? They just met.

That kind of connection is typical for Suprenant, who has spent 40 years in the business.

“She’s just got an outgoing personality. She’s friendly, she’s kind to everyone,” said coworker Sheri Haggard.

On Suprenant’s last day, the restaurant is busy, with customers coming in to say goodbye, and to leave balloons and flowers. After 40 years at Blue’s, Suprenant has become a fixture.

“We love Connie. She’s a joy and she knows everything about Kankakee history too. She’s our head girl. What are we going to do without our head girl?” said Denise Gifford, Suprenant’s co-worker of 15 years.

After 40 years of waitressing, Suprenant is looking forward to having fun in retirement and plans to spend her time camping and riding motorcycles. While she fondly remembers appearing on TV during the David Letterman Show’s taping here in Kankakee, Suprenant will miss her customers the most.

“I’ll miss the people, the customers, the little kids,” she said. “I’ve seen three generations, four generations of families go through here. In 40 years you see a lot.”

Those same customers will miss her, too.

“She’s my favorite Cubs fan, and I don’t like many Cubs fans,” joked Don Demers, who has been eating at Blue’s for 40 years. “She’s very friendly, very quick, a super server.”

“They’re efficient workers, all of them, and she’s been here a long time. The young waitresses in particular learn a lot from her,” said Bud Denault, another longtime customer.

Those who might miss Suprenant won’t have to look far. Even after retirement, you’ll be able to find her in a booth, enjoying food at the restaurant she loves so much.

“I’ve been eating here once a day for 40 years. I have to have my cheeseburger and fries.”


Source: The (Kankakee) Daily Journal, https://bit.ly/2puGdxf


Information from: The Daily Journal, https://www.daily-journal.com

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