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Main Street Restaurant waitress fills last coffee cup after 33 years of service in Detroit Lakes

On April 28, after 33 years, Kim Erickson, a server at the Main Street Restaurant in Detroit Lakes, tabled her last meal, served her last coffee cup and finished her last shift as a morning-meal-highlight at the famous Washington Avenue breakfast stop.

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Members of the 10 O'Clock Coffee Club and patrons of the Main Street Diner in Detroit Lakes clap and congratulate Kim Erickson during her last shift at the restaurant on April 28, 2022. Erickson worked at the Main Street Diner for 33 years.
Michael Achterling / Detroit Lakes Tribune
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DETROIT LAKES, Minn. — After being serenaded by members of the 10 O'Clock Coffee Club, the group and patrons of the Main Street Restaurant in Detroit Lakes paid their respects to the server who has served them for more than three decades.

When asked if she had a couple minutes to step away for a short interview during her last shift, she chuckled, "What are they going to do, fire me?"

Kim Erickson, the diner's 33-year waitressing veteran, said she was excited when she pulled into work for her last shift, so she knows she made the right decision at the right time for her.

"It's a fun job and I get to come here and talk all day, and I'm a gabber," said Erickson. "After my husband died a little over a year ago, I just got a whole new outlook on life and I'm going to enjoy some of it."

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Kim Erickson fills a cup of coffee during her last shift at the Main Street Diner in Detroit Lakes on April 28, 2022. Erickson worked at the diner for 33 years.
Michael Achterling / Detroit Lakes Tribune

Ron Zeman, alderman for Detroit Lakes' First Ward and member of the 10 O'Clock Coffee Club, said Erickson's attitude and service will be missed by many of the diner's regulars who have seen her familiar face for more than 30 years.

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"She has been the first person to give you a smile, and sometimes even a hug, and she knows what the people order for their usual breakfasts, she's got it down and she has a phone book memory for all of the people that come in here," said Zeman. "The whole thing is that she's just been a real good person to make people feel welcome."

Erickson said she wishes she could remember some important things that she needed to remember, but she knows what everyone eats and what kind of coffee they drink.

She also had some advice for the next Main Street Restaurant server, as the "Server Wanted" sign appeared large in the restaurant's front window.

"They need to smile," said Erickson. "But the most important thing is just to be kind to everybody because you don't know what they're going through. It doesn't matter what they look like, color, shape, size, just be kind to everybody."

Erickson also said she doesn't know what the next chapter of her life will hold, but it will still involve her favorite summer activities of camping and gardening. Adding, she may even travel a little bit.

"Next winter, I hope to be out of this cold country," she said. "Florida, or Arizona, it depends on which way the car turns."

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Kim Erickson hugs Greg Hildenbrand as the 10 O'Clock Coffee Club and patrons of the Main Street Diner in Detroit Lakes celebrate Erickson's last shift on April 28, 2022. Erickson retired on Thursday after 33 years at the Main Street Diner.
Michael Achterling / Detroit Lakes Tribune

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