Every week, we talk to a local chef, server or bartender to get the skinny on everything from crazy nights at the bar to the best dish on the menu. This week we talked to an institution: Trudy Rabain from Hollywood Diner.


Gertrude “Trudy” Rabain

Hollywood Diner • 123 N. DuPont Highway, Dover • 734-7462
Open 24 hours

Years waiting tables 23

Favorite meal Everyday Trudy’s Special and Mike’s Special

Most ordered dish Omelets are very popular. I work most mornings and don’t miss many days.

What’s the busiest time and day? Weekends are busiest from 9 to 10:30 a.m. and then it gets busy again around lunchtime. A lot of senior citizens come.

Tell me about the customers We have a lot of regulars. On weekends we see the mayor of Dover and his wife and also Sen. Bruce Ennis, D-Smyrna. It’s people who grew up with the diner. It’s a very comfortable atmosphere and everyone is decent, even those just traveling through.
We have race people who come every year and remember me and say “Hi, Trudy” when they come in. Today, Sept. 28, we had some folks from Lancaster, Pa., and they asked me to sit down and talk with them.

Do you enjoy eating in restaurants and how has waiting tables changed how you are a customer? I love to eat out, but I’m pickier. You know what you do and you expect that when you go other places.

What’s something interesting or unusual about yourself that would surprise your customers?
I’m Bermudian, I wasn’t born here. However, most customers know me to a ‘T.” I’ve been here so long and you get to talking with them as you serve them.

What’s made you wait tables for nearly 24 years? I love it. I love the people, the regulars who come every morning in a family-orientated atmosphere. I’ve been lucky to work for two wonderful owners over the years.

What’s the one thing you wish more customers would do? The customers are pretty good, very relaxed and easy. I just prefer them to be pleasant.

Her favorite meals
Mike’s Special
2 pieces of French toast
2 eggs
2 sausages or bacon or ham

Everyday Trudy’s Special
2 pancakes
2 eggs
Bacon or sausage or ham