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Continuing tradition

Posted on Tuesday, July 2, 2019 at 4:59 pm

Lenny Skeens’ photograph is the first thing you see when you step into Lenny’s diner on Colonial Avenue in Colonial Beach. Skeens is wearing a ball cap and the white shirt and apron that was his uniform from 1978 when he opened the small breakfast and lunch joint until his death 12 years ago.

Twelve years ago to the day is also the date when his stepdaughter, Brandy Robinson, signed the final paperwork to purchase Lenny’s and bring it back into the family. Under other ownership for just three years when Robinson’s mom Shelby sold it, Lenny’s has been a mainstay for Colonial Beach residents and visitors since it opened.

Robinson pushed to get the paperwork done on time. She wanted the anniversary for Skeens’ death to mean something else.

For her, now, it does. While Robinson is always a happy smiling person this day her smile shone brighter than Colonial Beach has ever seen.

A balloon decorated restaurant greeted her when she came back from signing the paperwork. Her dedicated employees put them up to celebrate with her. With such a small staff they’re like a family picking on one another because they can, grousing about each other at times, but also celebrating the triumphs.

This is a triumph for Robinson and her almost 18-year-old son, Will, who works in the restaurant with her. She directs him to clean the bathrooms this day, teasingly, but meaning it and he does what he is told. Cleaning, busing, he helps in whatever way he can.

Robinson has worked in the restaurant since she was around 12-years-old. Her mom married Skeens in the 1980s when Robinson was a child. While she has worked elsewhere a couple times, she came back to the diner that is like a second home.

For the full article, pick up the latest Westmoreland News 7/3/19

Brandy Robinson, and her son Will, stand with pride under Lenny’s portrait.