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Auburndale’s Clock restaurant closes after 40 years – News – The Ledger

Owner Kerry Rasmi could not be reached for comment, but cook Merlin Clark said he thinks personal health issues played a role in his decision to close.

AUBURNDALE — For 40 years, the Clock Family Restaurant was one of Auburndale’s most well-known spots to eat or sip coffee.


No more.


“It should be recognized as a historical place,” said Lisa Sawyers, who worked there as a waitress for about three years. “It’s home to a lot of people who live around the Clock. It was a place you went whether you were happy or sad.”


The restaurant, at 202 Magnolia Ave., closed its doors Monday night, ending a run that began in 1977.

Owner Kerry Rasmi could not be reached for comment, but cook Merlin Clark said he thinks personal health issues played a role in his decision to close.


The Clock Restaurant was originally part of a chain, but the business was bought by then-manager Rasmi in 2014, who continued running the eatery under the name “Kerry’s Clock Family Restaurant.”


“Me and Kerry go back a long way,” said Clark, who worked multiple stints at the restaurant for a total of more than 20 years. “It was like a second home and he was like a second father. Kerry saw things in me that I did not see in myself.”


Aside from McDonalds, Clock Restaurant was one of the few 24-hour restaurants in the city for most of its tenure.


Sawyers said the restaurant stayed busy even in the late hours of the night or the wee hours of the morning, drawing both the early birds and the crowd that came in hungry after the bars closed.


“Most of the girls (working there when it closed) had been there anywhere from 10 to 30 years,” Sawyers said. “It was a family — the cooks, the dishwashers, the servers; we watched people’s kids grow up, graduations, deaths, the good times, the bad times.”


Nita Martin, an Auburndale native, said she’ll remember the Clock Restaurant for the food and the camaraderie….

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