Cherie Johnson -- the girl who played Laura Winslow's best bud Maxine on "Family Matters" -- just opened her own restaurant in Houston ... but she's not some absentee boss ... she actually buses the tables herself.
The restaurant's called Datt's It -- and we're told Cherie opened it last month in a developmentally-challenged section of Houston, hoping to bring the struggling neighborhood some business ... and bring it back to life.
The menu includes all kinds of American classics -- burgers, fries, hot dogs, wings -- and the ONLY thing on the menu over $5 is the waffle with eggs and bacon (that's $6.50).
Last time we heard anything about Cherie Johnson was over a year ago -- when she had just gotten engaged to Ricky Romance, brother of B2K singer Raz-B. Time flies.