Margie and Ken Johnson started Margie’s Diner with their first location in Morro Bay, California back in October of 1986. Prior to this, they ran a coffee shop at Chimney Rock Golf Course up in the Napa Valley for a year. Margie had worked previously in several restaurants in Calistoga, California after graduating from college in 1975. Having worked first as a dishwasher and then as a cook, Margie would be thrown into serving on the day a server did not show up for work. Over the years, Margie learned about all positions in the house, while Ken rounded out the picture with his administrative talents.

In 1986, based on what Margie felt comfortable in cooking and what seemed like "comfort food", they sat down over a bottle of red wine and came up with our a menu that's changed very little over the last 20 years. Margie’s Diner gives a casual, friendly atmosphere with lots of laughing and joking, but don't be fooled - they are serious about the food. Margie used to be at the Morro Bay restaurant bright and early every morning to start the biscuits and gravy fresh each day. Long days of sweat and toil were ahead of them before they could afford to start hiring help to ease the load. But that's what has helped build their success. Each time they have expanded, Margie has been front and center in the design and training new crews in the kitchen.

In 1990, Margie and Ken took a great leap of faith and opened in San Luis Obispo in an old Howard Johnson's location fronting on Hwy 101. From there they leapfrogged into Pismo Beach and then on up to Paso Robles and Salinas. In 1998, feeling brave, they went on to open locations in Monterey, Atascadero and Goleta. They expanded once again in 2004 and opened in the old Keefer's Inn in King City.

In 2007, looking for a slower pace, they reduced the number of locations to four. In the summer of 2009, Ken unexpectedly left us, moving on to new adventures in what we would like to think of as 'Hamburger Heaven'. Today, Margie along with a wonderful, supporting staff, is managing the three remaining locations in San Luis Obispo, Paso Robles and Salinas.

Together, we are still here achieving our goal of a 'good meal in a cheerful atmosphere'!

10. Under Awards: Put awards in chronological order

1994 – Best Breakfast

1995 – Best Breakfast

1998 – National Academy of Restaurants Evaluation – Best Breakfast

2000 – Best Breakfast

2000 – Best Meal for Your Money

2001 – Best Greasy Spoon

2001 – Best Breakfast

2001 – Best Meal for Your Money

2002 – Best Greasy Spoon

2002 – Best Meal for Your Money

2003 – Best Meal for Your Money

2004 – Best Breakfast

2005 – Best Meal for Your Money

2005 – One of the Best Breakfast

2005 – Best Meal for Your Money

2005 – Best Breakfast

2006 – Best Meal for Your Money

2008 – One of the Best Restaurants in SLO County

2008 – Best Hangover Food

2008 – Best Meal for Your Money