A line of customers curls around the stools next to the cash register, chatting as they wait to pay.
Kelly Greenlea, a 24-year-old UTC graduate student, takes their money as James Porter, perpetually 27, slaps ground beef and buns on the open grill.
Around the corner in a red booth inside the Cherry Street Diner, Hamilton County Courts Officer Morris Bice praises the eatery between bites of his cheeseburger.
"This is the best the food's been here ever," Bice says.
And he should know. A courts officer since the early 1990s, he's seen the spot a block from his workplace undergo several identity changes. The most recent was almost two years ago, when it reopened as a diner under its current owner, Tony Klein.
The spot at the corner of Seventh and Cherry was seemingly fated to house a restaurant - it was where the original Krystal hamburger restaurant opened in 1932.