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After 30 Years, Havertown’s Hanne’s Is Closing

Liesel Spalding shares her memories of working at her family’s business and her uncertainties of her future.

After three generations of family members working at for a total of 30 years, the famous Havertown restaurant will be closing its doors Tuesday, July 31.

Liesel Spalding, whose grandmother Hanne Bruwelheide bought the restaurant back in 1982 after having worked there as a waitress, said that the landlord of the building told her last Tuesday that he has sold the building and she would need to move out by July 31. 

Spalding said that she does not know who bought the building. 

But Spalding did not just lose her family’s business of three decades.

“I just found out. I have to find a place to live,” the 27-year-old Spalding told the Haverford-Havertown Patch on Monday morning. “This is a place I grew up in.”

Spalding—who said she is going through “medical issues” but wished not to go into detail about them—lives in the apartment above Hanne’s Breakfast Nook and since it is part of the restaurant, she has to find a new place to not only work, but to live as well.

But in her younger years she said that she would sleep in a cot in the basement of Hanne’s Breakfast Nook before her school bus came. For her, and her customers, it was a home away from home. 

“I was 4 years old when I served coffee,” she said with a smile, as she reminisced of her first time “working” at her then grandmother’s restaurant.

Susan Strieb, a long-time customer, remembers when Spalding was young.

“I’ve been here since Liesel was doing her homework at the counter,” Strieb said.

When her grandmother passed away in 1992, her mother Christine Spalding took over the restaurant with her brother. But Liesel Spalding took over the family business this past January, which is something she is proud of. 

“I successfully ran a business at 27,” the owner beamed.

And it is something that her customers have taken notice.

Both Frank LeVeque and John Bradley praised Spalding and her mother about the friendly atmosphere that they created.

“They have no menu (here) because they know you,” Bradley proudly said, who also drives Spalding to a depot to help pick up the food.

LeVeque echoed Bradley’s statement.

“The people behind the counter will cook your food and speak to you,” he said, who is the owner of .

But the warm memories from her and her customers are not the only things that matter to Spalding, she stated. She will also be walking away with something she learned from watching her mother and grandmother work at the restaurant.

“I got to watch two women with great work ethics,” she said.

Spalding, who was born two years after her grandmother bought the restaurant back in 1982, said that small businesses like Hanne’s Breakfast Nook are cherished in the community. She said that many of her customers came for their meals when they were children and now they have kids of their own.

“I know the economy is tight, but when the small businesses go, you will miss them,” said Spalding of places like hers. “You will wish that you supported them more.”

Spalding said she will be throwing a for her customers on Saturday, July 28, from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. at where food will be served. 

(Editor's note: .)

joel perlish July 18, 2012 at 10:48 AM
a great warm place with wonderful folks... this place will surely be missed.... and remembered. wonder if liesel will pick up anywhere else.... i'm sure a crowd would follow her.... joel
Nathaniel Prentice July 18, 2012 at 11:45 AM
Wow. It would be great if she continued elsewhere. very special place.
Laura Haynes July 18, 2012 at 12:09 PM
I really hope Liesel chooses to carry on the business some place else. These small, family owned places are what make towns like ours so great. Good luck sweetheart!
michele whipple July 18, 2012 at 12:23 PM
I am so sad! I love Hanne's I wish Liesel the best- and I hope she opens somewhere else as well. We'll be there!
Sarah Dunn Simpson July 18, 2012 at 12:37 PM
I love this place! Took my daughter there many time with my husband and we were welcomed with a smile! We will miss you! Good luck!
Jennifer Ayoub July 18, 2012 at 02:25 PM
It is wonderful to hear such great folks in our community in Havertown show your support for Liesel and Hanne's. You are most welcome as long-time customers to attend the Farewell Party on Saturday, July 28th at Peabody's from 6pm-9pm. We will also host a fundraiser that evening to help Liesel. The cost for the fundraiser is $25/person and $40/couple. It includes a buffet of appetizers, foods and drinks. Please spread the word to your friends and neighbors. Thank you!
Pat Woods July 18, 2012 at 02:33 PM
The worst part of all this is that the building's owner is her father, and they don't own the equipment they use. Great place, and you should still go, as they still have bills to pay.
Susan Strieb July 18, 2012 at 03:36 PM
Best place around. I've taken my kids there and now my grandkids. It's like family.
momof3 July 19, 2012 at 03:12 PM
Hanne's today is NOT the Hanne's of yesteryear..Place is EXTREMELY dirty. Hanne herself would be mortified.Good Riddance.
momof3 July 19, 2012 at 03:57 PM
And now the "Goodbye party for the customers" is now a Funraiser for the owner. What a crock..Shameful.
Jennifer Ayoub July 21, 2012 at 05:37 PM
There is a farewell party held for the customers on Saturday evening, July 28th at Peabody's. There is also a fundraiser that evening to help pay for the chemotherapy treatment for Liesel Spalding, who is having much difficulty affording her treatment.
Jo July 23, 2012 at 06:39 PM
Momof3- Almost every small fundraiser I have been to has been thrown by friends and family…. even with the help of strangers. There is nothing unusual about that. In this case, it appears that a lot of her customers became friends and family, vice versa. So if people care for her and want to help, what’s so wrong with that? Being a compassionate human being may seem like something completely foreign to you, but not for others.
AP July 24, 2012 at 08:21 AM
I agree with momof3. I first went to Hanne's 15 years ago and it was amazing...I would bring friends there that came in from out of town. But over the last couple years it changed to a place that I would avoid even if I was starving. I know that we all have our problems and compassion is the word of the day but this place is closing because it was not providing good service. It is a shame that the great legacy was tarnished.
Jennifer Ayoub July 24, 2012 at 10:11 PM
Hey Markie Mark and the htownbunch, I suppose since it doesn't affect you or your family, why should you care, right? What gives you the right to rip off someone's dignity and self-respect especially when their problems are probably bigger than yours? Liesel may have a bad habit of smoking, and though you may not agree with her smoking habits is no reason for you to lambaste her with your insensitive remarks! Sure, we all have opinions. But you've gone beyond that which is considered decent in displaying your own negative opinion of Liesel and Hanne's. Heed a mother's advice and be kind, for everyone is fighting a harder battle. Good riddance and good luck!
Susan Strieb July 25, 2012 at 12:16 AM
Thank you Jennifer
Anthony Leone July 25, 2012 at 02:59 AM
Editor's note: markiemarkand the htownbunch requested that his one comment be removed and it has been.
Anthony Leone July 25, 2012 at 03:41 AM
Editor's note: markiemarkand the htownbunch requested that his one comment be removed and it has been.
heather July 31, 2012 at 06:59 AM
As a previous employee I'd like to say that for the enjoyable 7 hours I spent behind the sink washing dishes I was very well paid & was given a meal & free drinks throughout my shift every weekend. A 27 young woman pretty much trying to run a business by herself & losing not only her job but her residence as well & then to have to go through cancer treatment. Liesel is a beautiful,caring,loving person & its a tragedy that the business is no longer a part of frequent customers lives. Best job I ever had.
liesel spalding August 23, 2012 at 07:12 PM
Hey thank you for all the support sorry it did take so long to respond I am not internet savy to so I do not know if after that long anyone will read what I write I'm going to write it anyway some people that comment probably didn't even know my grandmom which I call omi they also think that old means dirty to the one that would not come even if they were starving I would feed you anyway I do know my omi I did my best she would be proud that I did even try to people that know it was clean good food thank you for you support to
liesel spalding August 23, 2012 at 07:17 PM
Hey and and I smoke you don't do anything that someone would disagree with well then good for you because you are only person I know out of all people in the world that do life perfect to
Ron Snyder August 24, 2012 at 11:36 AM
I just arrived back into Havertown, expecting a smile, a "hi Doc," a joke, and great cup of coffee, meet a new friend, great corn beef on toast, and leave a better man. Instead as I walked to the that wonderful place,the doors were closed, and windows covered and a warm wonderful place seemed so dead and missing. Sorry to see you go
Gary December 31, 2012 at 01:17 AM
I'd like to know more about her father . Is he the landlord who kicked her out of her home and business? No mention of it in the article or in comments.

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