WAVERLY, Ohio — From the time Sam and Esther Carrigan bought the Main Street Eatery in 2004 until now, they have doubled the restaurant’s square footage and seating capacity, doubled its profit and revenue, and, according to them, doubled the size and weight of their average customer.
It’s the latter fact, or belief rather — since no one has actually weighed and measured the customers — that prompted the Carrigans last week to change the name of their restaurant to the Main Street Overeatery. In doing so, the Carrigans insist that their only motivation was honesty and accuracy about what actually goes on in the restaurant, and that they are in no way judging the behavior of their customers.
“It’s just the truth,” said Sam, 57, relaxing in a booth at the Overeatery following Tuesday’s lunch rush. “People don’t come here to eat, they come here to overeat. They waddle in and order more food for a single lunch or dinner than a starving horse could swallow in a week.”
Pushing a wheelbarrow full of the Overeatery’s signature Deep-Fried Taco Salad for sampling, Esther, 59, arrived at the booth with the smile and self-assurance of a cook long accustomed to daily praise. A server followed her with a farmer’s bucket of Bacon-Fudge Mini-Burgers, a bushel of Freedom Fries smothered in chicken gravy, and a pail of Liberty Onion Rings with cheesy dipping sauce.
“We love our customers, especially the regulars,” said Esther. “We’ve watched them grow from 90- and 100-pound teenagers into 300- and 400-pound adults, sometimes even 500 pounds and more. Seeing them squeeze through the door last week, it dawned on us that we’re no longer an eatery and haven’t been for a long time.”
A roundish customer at a neighboring table asked if breakfast was still being served, and, upon hearing that it was, ordered the Lumberjack Stack of Chocolate-Chip Pancakes (the size of manhole covers) with salted-caramel whipped cream and Oreo cookie bites.
“That’s a popular item any time of the day, the pancakes are” said Esther. “Anyway, yeah, as I was saying, the name-change is just a way of being honest with people about who we are and what we are. We’re an overeatery. I don’t think anyone would ever call us an undereatery.”