An advertisement for a writer's retreat.

By John Pierce

As another morning breaks, Yvonne works the dining area with unequaled friendliness. She moves quickly, smiles broadly and leaves no neck unsqueezed.

But this is no small town diner filled with familiar faces. It’s in Atlanta’s bustling Buckhead, a place where big business and slow traffic mark most days.

Those expecting cold, impersonal city life, however, have never stepped into the Corner Bakery Café on Peachtree Street. It’s where regulars and surprised travelers find egg scramblers, hearty oatmeal and a strong embrace. Literally.

Yvonne is quick to greet you, get your order on the table and say, “Gimme a hug” as she’s already reaching out with open arms.

The Corner Bakery Café is a favorite breakfast spot of mine when in Atlanta — or in Philly, Denver, Houston, Washington, D.C. and other places. I’ve hiked a few blocks past other restaurants to find one.

But this one in Atlanta (there are two others in the city) is a special place because of Yvonne. She is a morning reminder that human relationships are more important than whatever business deals need to be cut that day.

So should you ever stop by for breakfast, enjoy the good food and her warm hospitality. There are plenty of hugs to go around. Just don’t drink up all the hazelnut crème coffee before I get there.

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