Café in need of owner

Staff writer

Barb and Larry Smith shut the doors to Country Lakes Café for the last time this January to begin retirement and to deal with health issues plaguing the two.

“It’s not that we wanted to shut down the restaurant,” Barb said, “but 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.”

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.

“If the right person came along we would even consider helping them financially,” she said. “We really want the business to be open and stay open. For the right person it would be a great place.”

She said the restaurant already has a customer base, which she is afraid the restaurant will lose if it remains closed too long.

“Marion has done well for the restaurant,” she said. “People from surrounding counties come and when the lakes are full we draw a lot of campers.”

An agreement for Gretchen Bernhart to lease the restaurant fell through due to financing issues.

“We just decided this was not going to work,” Smith said. “If she could get her ducks in a row, she could do a good job.”

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 Cindy’s Café.

 

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