Owners of new Harrodsburg restaurant want family atmosphere

March 29, 2004|GARY MOYERS

HARRODSBURG - The new College Street Cafe is truly a family business.

Co-owners Twana Dean and John Elliott have more than a passing relationship; Elliott is married to Dean's daughter.

"We definitely put the 'family' in family business," said Dean. "Some of our employees are family members, too."

That family atmosphere is something the new owners hope to convey to customers.

"There have been several restaurants in this location that didn't do so well since the original Stone Manor Restaurant closed down," said Elliott. "Before we got into this, we tried to look back at each of them and figure out what worked and what didn't. The simple answer is, good food and service at an affordable price, in a nice, friendly atmosphere. That's what we've tried to do here."

College Street Cafe has undergone extensive renovation inside, with much of the work done by Elliott's father, Les Williams. The results is an open, roomier dining atmosphere. The decor, picked out by Dean, was designed to present a lighter mood.


The restaurant opened Feb. 23, but is the product of an idea born in October, 2003.

"This is something I've always wanted to do, kind of a dream of mine, and I pitched the idea to John in October," said Dean. "We did our research, and in December we made everything official. Since then we've been on the run getting things ready to open."

Elliott brings some pretty hefty credentials to the table.

"I worked for Beaumont Inn for six years, the last four and a half as dining room manager," he said. "Everything I know, I learned from Chuck Dedman. I'm a product of his teaching."

Cafe employs 26 people

College Street Cafe employs 26 people, Elliott said, some of them former Beaumont Inn employees, and they're tasked with the goal of providing good food and service at the top of the list.

"We feel in offering a great meal and great service at reasonable prices, we're a good fit for Harrodsburg," he said. "Most of the items on our dinner menu run between $5 and $7, which fits a family budget. And we think we have an exceptional staff here, with a lot of experience in pleasing the customer."

The fare is "traditional Southern, homestyle cooking," said Dean, along with burgers, appetizers and side items.

"We offer a buffet meal on Fridays at lunch and on Sundays," said Dean. "We also offer some special dishes on weekends, like sirloins and things, and we plan to add more items to our menu as we move along."

The dining room is Phase I, said Elliott.

"We're beginning to offer some banquet rooms upstairs with some internal catering, which is Phase II, and Phase II will be external catering," he said. "We have no timetable for offering those services, but I would think they will happen soon."

Elliott said some work has been done to the exterior of the building "to make it look neater," and the owners plan to do more, including some landscaping, now that warm weather is arriving.

Dining hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday; and 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, buffet only.

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