In these days of company mergers and name changes, little attention is paid until it hits home. So what if A&P is now Super Fresh or Drug Fair is Rite Aid -- wait a minute, Rite Aid?

The Drug Fair across from the Nassif Building has boasted a restaurant counter for umpteen years. Daily groups of breakfasters gathered to eat eggs and toast, drink coffee and discuss daily happenings, regardless of how trivial. It was a social mixture of people who otherwise would have never met, let alone discussed personal problems. Some of these breakfasters were veterans of 10 to 15 years. I was fairly new, but it was the first place in my 20 years in Washington where I could sit and announce "the usual" and be understood -- unless I deviated from coffee to milk.

The grill produced the best scrambled eggs this side of Venus. A second cup of coffee was offered, not asked for. The waitresses were friendly, smiley women, a joy to behold.

The counter closed July 2 for economic purposes, I understand. No matter the reason, it will be sorely missed. Missed also will be Sarah, whose memory of orders was almost faultless and whose joking attitude somehow lightened the early morning burdens.

EDWARD F. TRALKA Bethesda