Fremont cafe owner plans to sell eatery
By Matt Caulder
Published in News on June 30, 2013 1:50 AM
W.T. Smith takes a lunch order from Elizabeth Mooring at the Capitol Cafe in Fremont. Smith plans to retire from the business and to sell the restaurant he has owned for 22 years.
FREMONT -- After 22 years on Main Street, the Capitol Cafe might be changing or merely switching ownership.
Owners Pat and W.T. Smith listed the restaurant for sale as a result of W.T.'s recent health problems and surgery, which led to their decision to sell the business they have owned since 1991.
"I just want to relax, take it easy and play a little golf if my health gets better," Smith said. "You never know how much time you're really going to have."
He still works the register and cooks the steaks at the cafe on Fridays, while his wife cooks the seafood -- one of the best foods at Capitol Cafe, he said.
"She's the boss," Smith said.
One of the items featured on the menu along with hotdogs, hamburgers and fries is, "I don't know" for $2.09.
"People come in and I ask them, 'What do you want?' and they say, 'I don't know,' so I put it on the menu," Smith said.
A few people have expressed interest in purchasing the cafe, and Smith hopes they will continue the cafe as it is, a sentiment reflected by Smith's employees.
Brooke West will have been working at the cafe for nine years this August.
She started shortly after high school and hopes that whoever buys the cafe will keep it the same as it is now.
"I hate that they're selling it, but with their health, they have to," Ms. West said. "They're real good people to work for."
If the place doesn't sell soon, Smith has no intentions of shutting the place down in the meantime.
"I'll keep it running as long as I'm able," Smith said.
Workers Johnnie Mayo and Joy Settle agree that although they hate for the Smiths to sell, they understand why and they will miss them.
"I love working for them. They're good people," Ms. Settle said.
The Smiths used to own the Pool Room on Main Street across from City Hall, but left after a kitchen fire damaged the building.
They opened their place as the Capitol Pool Room and had a separate pool room off the cafe, which they turned into dining when the Pool Room opened back up.
Smith said although he will no longer be a restauranteur, that he has no intentions of withdrawing from the Fremont Board of Alderman.