Photo by Gregory Rec

A rising sun lights up buildings along Commercial Street in Portland shortly before Becky’s Diner opens for the day on April 15. Buy this Photo

Photo by Derek Davis

Mark Rand, son of owner Becky Rand, works the grill at the diner on March 13, the Portland restaurant’s 30th anniversary. His brother, Zack Rand, who also manages the diner, said sales were down 80 percent in May and there were times he thought the diner might not survive. Buy this Photo

Photo by Gregory Rec

Waitress Jill Keen puts silverware into a sleeve before Becky’s Diner opens for breakfast. Pre-packaging the silverware is one of many adaptations the diner has made because of the pandemic. Buy this Photo

Photo by Derek Davis

Laura Applin, a server for 10 years at Becky’s, works the breakfast shift on March 13, 2021. Becky’s was completely closed from mid-March to May 1, 2020, partially because the staff was worried about catching the virus. Buy this Photo

Photo by Derek Davis

A nurse from Scarborough, Jared Walker used to work night shifts and ate at Becky’s Diner often. On March 13, Becky’s 30th anniversary, he came for his first visit since November. “My favorite spot in Portland, for sure,” he said. Buy this Photo

Photo by Gregory Rec

To stay within state-mandated COVID-19 spacing guidelines, Becky’s owners put plexiglass dividers between booths and didn’t allow seating at the counter stools directly across from them. Frank Davis of Raymond eats breakfast on April 15. Buy this Photo

Photo by Gregory Rec

Between customers, Millie Norton wipes down a corner booth during breakfast service. Disinfecting booths between customers is one of several changes Becky’s Diner made during the pandemic. Buy this Photo

Photo by Gregory Rec

A regular who usually eats breakfast at Becky’s three times a week, Jim Rogan chats with waitress Allison Music as she clears plates from his table. Buy this Photo

Photo by Gregory Rec

Regulars eat in the booths at Becky’s on April 15. By mid-June 2020, Becky’s had placed a few tables outside. By July and August, every other table inside was open and all employees were asked back to work. “We were really cranking in August and September,” Zack Rand said, but sales were still down 10 to 20 percent. Buy this Photo

Photo by Derek Davis

Maura Cunningham, a server for two and a half years, reaches for breakfast orders. The few months after lockdown were rocky for Becky’s. Before the pandemic, takeout comprised less than 5 percent of its business but in those months, takeout was 100 percent of the business. Buy this Photo

Photo by Gregory Rec

Waitress Millie Norton works as “The Expeditor,” a position created to alleviate waitress crowding in the area during the pandemic. She makes sure orders are plated correctly, makes toast and adds condiments to the plates. The wait staff rotates through the position. Buy this Photo

Photo by Gregory Rec

Mike Stone of Portland, a regular customer, talks with waitress Jill Keen while ordering breakfast. Becky’s seated 20 to 35 people inside over the winter. Takeout sales have remained important to keeping the restaurant going. Buy this Photo

Photo by Derek Davis

Mark Rand completes orders while managing the kitchen at Becky’s Diner on March 13. Buy this Photo

Photo by Derek Davis

Adrian Chandler of Wales eats breakfast with his wife Maracila and daughter Lexi, 2, while on a weekend trip to Maine. The Rands hope this summer will start off as busy as August was last year. Buy this Photo

Photo by Gregory Rec

Millie Norton places a completed order on a bill spike. Zack Rand credits his mother, who started the business to support her six kids, with keeping him calm when the pandemic made the business really tough. Buy this Photo

Photo by Gregory Rec

Elliott Randall of South Portland, seated on the diner’s back deck, eats breakfast at Becky’s two to three times a week. He sat out on the deck all winter for breakfast because he is still not comfortable eating inside a restaurant. “I just pretend I’m ice fishing,” he says. Buy this Photo

Photo by Derek Davis

Beck’s is an example of the resilience of the Portland restaurant community, where so many places have struggled during the pandemic but are hanging on. Buy this Photo

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