LINCOLNTON, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – Southern hospitality is a way of life at ‘City Lunch’ in Lincolnton.

For 27 years, a keeper of the clocks in Lincolnton

They will learn your name, but the second you walk through the door, it’s “darling” and “sweetie.”

It’s the go-to breakfast and lunch spot for hundreds of people daily.

“Hundreds, yes,” laughed Angie Greer.

Angie is the third generation to run the 66-year-old diner.

“I’m trying to picture when I was a little girl,” said Angie. “We had three two-seater tables; that’s all we had.”

They’re right next to the historic courthouse in Lincolnton. It closed this year, and that had Angie worried about their future.

“That scared us, you know,” said Angie. “But people love their downtown.”

They also love something else, something that started with Angie’s grandma.

Void left after a constant presence in Lincolnton

“Her philosophy of caring for others has just passed down through us,” said Angie.

City Lunch is the kind of place where the tips go in the coffee jar.

“It’s all about everyone here,” said Marie Kenyon, owner of ‘Untapped Territory.’

At the countertop, strangers leave as friends.

“When you need a hug, you get a hug here,” said Angela Lovelace.

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If money is tight, there’s plenty of food to share.

“To be honest, if you’re hungry, come in and eat. We don’t care. We will feed you,” said Angie.

Kindness is their secret ingredient, and all are welcome.