Plum back behind counter after surgery

PARKERSBURG -About a week after it opened at its new location on Ann Street, the Corner Cafe was operating without its longtime owner, Marilyn Plum.

The cafe, which moved to the Matheny Motors complex, opened July 15. A week later Plum was in Lexington, Ky., undergoing surgery for a brain aneurysm.

“The Lord was with me,” she said.

As employees worked to move equipment from the old store to the new location, doctors discovered an aneurysm. She had gone for an MRI on her pituitary when the issue was uncovered.

Plum, who worked all day cleaning the store, was grabbing a bite to eat when she was contacted by medical officials urging her to immediately go to the hospital.

She was admitted to the hospital under emergency circumstances.

“They were concerned about a rupture,” she said. “In the middle of this humongous move.”

Plum’s daughter is a nurse married to a radiologist who works with a Kentucky neurosurgeon specializing in aneurysm surgery.

Last week, a week after the new restaurant opened, the 63-year-old Plum traveled to Lexington to have the three-hour surgery. She spent a day resting, a day recuperating and returned to West Virginia on Thursday.

She was back at the store Friday, but her husband refused to let her work. She waited until Monday, although she squeezed in a catering job for 300 people over the weekend.

Plum has worked in the restaurant business for 38 years. She is surrounded by a number of good, longtime employees.

“The employees worked like dogs getting this open,” she said.

Plum’s Corner Cafe had been on Liberty Street for several years before the property was purchased for a new gasoline station. Plum, who was planning to build a new restaurant near the old location, was approached by the Mathenys with the idea of putting the eatery in their dealership.

Mike Matheny, CEO of Matheny Motors, said the Matheny site is larger as the cafe’s former location seated about 70.

“This seats about a 100,” he said.

Matheny said many of the seats are full.

“It appears a lot of her former customers have followed her out here, along with the some new ones,” he said.

A ribbon cutting for the restaurant was going to be scheduled this month, but it may be postponed. Plum said she has a vacation already planned.

Plum said she’s prone to aneurysms and has been told to keep her blood pressure down.

Plum also said she’s the fourth employee to suffer an aneurysm.

“It’s OK to eat with me, just don’t work with me,” she said.