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Cora’s Diner in Bremerton: a hole in the wall that will fill the hole in your belly
When he worked across the street at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Allen McIntosh walked to Cora’s Diner in Bremerton at least once a week.
He kept coming back because he felt welcome. The owners remembered his name and often went out of their way to accommodate his palate, preparing food that wasn’t on the menu.
And it didn’t hurt that it all tasted good.
“It’s the friendly atmosphere,” said McIntosh, 27, who recently transferred jobs from Bremerton to Keyport, but made a return trip to Cora’s on Tuesday. “It’s like having lunch at a friend’s house.”
McIntosh ordered the “Bremersaurus,” a dinosaur-sized burger served on a French roll. The fixings included two beef patties, two slices of bacon, two slices of cheddar cheese and two slices of tomato, as well as pickles, lettuce and onion.
It’s a Cora’s specialty, one item on a menu co-owner Rick Foxworth calls “typical Americana.” The burgers at Cora’s cost between $4 and $6, another draw for customers.
Another popular dish at Cora’s is the pork adobo, served only on Thursday. It’s so popular it is often sold out by the middle of the afternoon.
“It’s good food and it’s cheap food,” said Sam Overtarf, 29, an employee at the nearby Dimensions4 graphics company who visits Cora’s at least once a week.
The diner opened in November 2004 as a hole-in-the-wall on Fourth Street when husband and wife Rick and Cora Foxworth decided they wanted their own establishment. The owners, who met in Cora Foxworth’s native Philippines, have been married 32 years and run the diner as a team.
Business has been steady since day one, Rick Foxworth said, but there has been a decline over the past three years.
The diner used to be famous for what he called a New Orleans-themed mural. The mural spanned Cora’s exterior walls and included a saxophonist playing his instrument while his feet hung out a second-story apartment window. Locals, and even tourists, knew about the mural, and it attracted customers.
“Then we came in one morning and there was newspaper covering the windows on the outside,” Rick Foxworth said. “It was a landmark. If someone called and asked where we were, we just said we were the place with the saxophone mural.”