Small-town cafe growing - 08:49 AM - June , 2006
After two years of success in downtown Pelahatchie, ABC Catering and Cafe closed its doors temporarily in March to allow its owners time to prepare for changes: a new location, a new name and a new venture.
Co-owner Virgil Salvo said he and partner Brett Ashy hope to reopen in July or August in a renovated house on 2nd Street with the new name 2nd Street Cafe.
"My mother had the Clean Bill of Health Clinic at the new site for a number of years, and she stopped her practice," Salvo said. "I wanted to move because we needed a larger building. Our business has really expanded."
While walk-in customers are missing out on the restaurant's lunch and dinner offerings, Salvo and Ashy are continuing their catering buisness during the change.
Another change in the works is a new business within the business.
"Roxie Smith will have Sweet Rox in the front of the cafe," Salvo said. "She will have homemade candies, along with a coffee shop."
An additional 850 square feet has been added to the 90-year-old house. The front room is already decorated with a mural of sweet candy confections for Sweet Rox.
The cafe's country creole food has attracted visitors from all over, with dishes ranging from hamburgers to alligator.
"I am really excited about the new location," Mayor Knox Ross said. "It is nice to see an old house that used to be a clinic expand into a successful business."
Salvo said the expansion has been a challenge because of the age of the house.
"It has been hard to add the modern touches," Salvo said. "We have done the majority of the work ourselves so it has been hard. It will be all worth it when it is done though."
Despite a larger building and additional features, Salvo said the down-home atmosphere will remain the main attraction.
"We want that small-town appeal that Pelahatchie has," he said.
Said Ross: "It is that comfort food that brings people back. This is going to be something unusual for a small town. It is going to attract people from all over."
Salvo and Ashy have been in the catering and food service business for the past 20 years. Salvo was a dining director at an upscale retirement home. On the side, he operated a catering service with Ashy, who holds a degree in the culinary arts.
(Taken from Article in June 17, 2006 Rankin Ledger)
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