77-year-old Bronx native Maria Sanders has been slinging plates of hot, crispy fish at Captain D’s on Hwy 45 for 27 years. She first came to Columbus with her husband in the late 1960’s, after serving as an Army cook for many years.
When she first arrived, Sanders described her first impression: “I felt like I was on another planet when I came here.” Now, when she gets back from trips back to NYC or anywhere else, she can’t wait to get back to the place she now considers home: “I said, ‘I’m excited to get back to the South.'”
She also remarked that she refuses to simply “. . .stay at home and do nothing,” Sanders said. “I want to go to work and see my customer friends.” She has a sizable pack of regulars who are all happy to see her, and the feeling is mutual: “I’ve been here a long time, and they all know me.”
“The lady’s still working here,” said Tanya Andrews, a mother with kids of her own who has been eating at the restaurant since she, herself, was a child, with Sanders there all the while. “It’s good to see you. It’s a blessing you’re still here.”