CafĂ© in need of owner
Barb and Larry Smith shut the doors to Country Lakes CafĂ© for the last time this January to begin retirement and to deal with health issues plaguing the two.
â€śItâ€™s not that we wanted to shut down the restaurant,â€ť Barb said, â€śbut because of health reasons, it was something we needed to do. Between us, we have bad knees and a bad shoulder. We want to take some time to recover and spend time with grandkids.â€ť
The couple has been actively searching for a new buyer or someone to lease and run the business on a month-to-month basis to no avail. Smith hopes someone can get the restaurant up and running in 30 days.
â€śIf the right person came along we would even consider helping them financially,â€ť she said. â€śWe really want the business to be open and stay open. For the right person it would be a great place.â€ť
She said the restaurant already has a customer base, which she is afraid the restaurant will lose if it remains closed too long.
â€śMarion has done well for the restaurant,â€ť she said. â€śPeople from surrounding counties come and when the lakes are full we draw a lot of campers.â€ť
An agreement for Gretchen Bernhart to lease the restaurant fell through due to financing issues.
â€śWe just decided this was not going to work,â€ť Smith said. â€śIf she could get her ducks in a row, she could do a good job.â€ť
Members of Marion Economic Development Inc. were looking for someone to take over the restaurant, member Roger Holter said, but were unable to find one. Because of the terms of a real estate contract with Heerey Realty, MEDI is unable to follow up on some options originally planned, Smith said.
Food inventory was sold last weekend to Cindyâ€™s CafĂ©.