Not Your Ordinary Cookie-Cutter Diner

You never know what surprises you’ll find while traveling. On our meandering trip to Colorado, we stopped for the night in McCook, Nebraska, approximate population of 7,600. Rather than eat the hotel breakfast, we asked for directions to a local diner that the locals were most likely to frequent. The answer was Fuller’s Family Restaurant on Norris Avenue. We expected to get a good, down-home style breakfast; what we didn’t expect was a visual feast of color and whimsy.

Fuller’s, which relocated to the current location in 2013 following a fire, boasts thousands of distinct cookie jars and tea pots. They line the walls – floor to ceiling – front to back. In addition to those on display, our waitress told us there were 400 to 500 more in storage in the basement because there was no more room in the dining area.

Fuller’s manager, Linda Thayer, had amassed a collection of about 3,800 cookie jars and tea pots prior to the fire. Friends and family helped salvage as many of them as possible. It took a little while after opening the restaurant at the new location to get the display shelves in place and the cookie jars and tea pots arranged on the walls, but the job appears to be complete now.

The food is basic and good; what you would expect from a family-run diner. The breakfast special the morning we dined, which we did not order, was pork chops. We opted for more standard fare – between the two of us we samples bacon, eggs, pancakes, hash browns, and biscuits and gravy.

So if you happen to find yourself in McCook, Nebraska, and want something out of the ordinary, you might want to look up Fuller’s Family Restaurant. Decent food and a very fun and unusual experience.

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