Nancy Sukits had spent years in the food-service industry — catering, working at country clubs, working in food services for a nonprofit — before striking out on her own. Now she's not just at the helm of her own restaurant; she's at the helm of the area's first … mac-and-cheese-themed diner.
The MAC Diner, which opened at the end of July, sits on William Flinn Highway in Hampton, where Sukits hails from. "When I was living here but working all the time, I never spent time here, never went to restaurants here," Sukits explains. "I wanted to give back."
Her form of giving back: lots of macaroni and cheese. Plain ol' mac; hamburger mac; reuben mac; Mexican-inspired mac called, yes, "The Macarena." (Besides mac-and-cheese, the diner does offer some standards: pancakes, omelets, burgers and a few meat-and-potatoes dishes.)
The other catch to The MAC: It's themed, to an extent, around '70s décor and '70s TV. You'll find the face of Carol Brady, among others, decorating the menu.
"Everyone does a '50s diner," Sukits says. "The average person around here is 43 — they don't remember the '50s. We remember, in the '70s, coming home and sitting around the table to a home-cooked meal. We don't do that anymore — that's what I want to recreate.
"Everything we do is scratch cooking," she says. "If you see something you like but you want it done your way, we can do it."