When you walk into Otisville's Down Home Diner, it's business as usual, kind of. On Wednesday night, customers enjoyed their home-cooked meals, all while the employees inside weren't even on the clock.
On Tuesday morning, the owner told his staff the diner is shutting down, and they say he didn't give them their paychecks that were due. A sign out front is the staff's final plea for help. The sign reads, "Owner skipped town. Staff working for wages due. We are open."
The hard-working staff here doesn't get rich from what they do, and they all say they depend on the money that comes in.
"Check by check, week by week, people depend on their tips," Janie Lehr, the restaurant's general manager, explained.
And they say the owner stiffing them on their paychecks makes this situation even more catastrophic.
"He said, 'I don't have the money.' I said, 'What, what are we going to do?'" explained Lehr.
Lehr said there was only one thing to do. She got permission to keep the doors open through the end of the week, and for the next two or three days, they're cooking up the food that's left and hoping to bring in enough money to pay the workers what they're owed.