Like a '55 Chevy, Faye's is a thing of the past downtown Landmark diner moves from Crain Highway to Dorsey Road

June 29, 1992|By Peter Hermann NTC | Peter Hermann NTC,Staff Writer

It's hard to imagine Faye's Sub Shop any other place than on Crain Highway in Glen Burnie.

Faye Hines herself made the restaurant a downtown institution, catering to merchants, antique car buffs and the homeless.

But Hines' landlord downtown did not renew her lease. So, on July 6, the 1950s-style diner will move to Dorsey Road near Friendship Park, away from a busy downtown street and onto a speedy road surrounded by business parks.

The sub shop's departure, downtown workers and patrons say, will hurt Glen Burnie more than Faye.

"It's a shame she has to move," said Gil Smith, president of the Vintage Tin antique car club, which has been meeting at Faye's for two years. "It's going to take a lot of business out of Glen Burnie."

Hines, who started the sub shop seven years ago, has mixed emotions.

She won't talk about the dispute that forced her to move. And she says she likes the new building, the old T.R. Corner Cafe, whose owner named sandwiches after movie stars. Faye names sandwiches after cars.

"I don't want to leave," she said Saturday evening before closing up for the last time on Crain Highway. "But I think the new place will be a lot nicer."

Hines said she will have moved by today. She nearly closed for good, not finding the new shop until two weeks ago.

"We didn't have a place to go," she said. "My home is on Crain Highway, but I'm just happy that we're reopening instead of closing for good."

There are almost too many stories, she said, to remember them (( all.

There was the time the toilet broke with a customer inside. The man -- thereafter nicknamed "Mr. Happy Flush" -- emerged covered head to toe with blue sanitary solution. A blue river ran from the bathroom, through the parking lot and out onto Crain Highway.

Then there was the time longtime customer Wayne Turpin removed his glass eye and put it into the hands of blindfolded waitress Carol Steilling.

"She rubbed and rubbed it," Turpin recalled. "When she found out what it was, she threw it across the room. She screamed and she cried."

But what made Faye's shop an institution was probably the good works that emerged from its doors.

The two antique auto clubs that gather in the parking lot across the street, Vintage Tin and Lost in the '50s, holds a Toys For Tots Christmas drive there every year.

Hines herself was known for giving away food to anyone who said they were destitute. And this was not leftover deli meat. Workers gave away full sandwich platters. They even delivered food to a nearby senior center.

Faye's faithful customers return the favors. Tom Henson, known as "Trader Tom," routinely donates flowers. Turpin and his brother, Jerry, helped paint the new building. And car club members helped her move on Sunday.

It is the car club that makes Faye's shop stand out to the casual passerby.

Every Saturday, between 200 and 300 cars from the 1940s, '50s and '60s pack the parking lot across the street, swap stories, show off and eat at the sub shop.

"We started in 1990," said Smith, of Vintage Tin. "We needed a place to park our cars and have a good time. This gave us a safe place where we can keep it clean."

The car buffs will follow Hines to her new location, where she has a parking lot large enough to hold all the cars. She even will have a new name, Faye's Dorsey Diner.

Many customers will follow her. Others, like the seniors and homeless, may not be able too. But she hopes to carve a new niche with workers from nearby Westinghouse, BWI Airport and the scattered business parks.

"We have a lot of customers from around there," said Juanita Stein, who waits tables Saturdays. "We didn't know that until last week. We handed out fliers with our new address and they said, 'Now we're closer.' "

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