Archive for Wednesday, January 26, 2000

Fourth Street Cafe under new ownership

January 26, 2000

The new owner of the Fourth Street Cafs pleased to finally be cooking for "real people."

Paul Davis, 40, whose first day as owner of the cafas last Wednesday, said he's spent time as a chef in fine dining.

"I decided I wanted to get out of fine dining and cook for real people," said Davis, who went to culinary school in 1990. "I used to be in fine dining, and I used to cook stuff like pheasant strudel and really expensive food, and the people who were buying it were snobs."

Davis, whose experience in the food business also includes managing an Arby's, plans to add a new stove and larger griddle to the cafwhich he hopes will increase efficiency. He also hopes to add taco salads, French dip sandwiches, breakfast burritos and fruit plates to the menu.

"I'd like to try bringing some of the women back into the restaurant," he said.

And eventually, he said, he'd like to open the caft 400 E. Fourth St. on Sundays. But it will be awhile before he expands the hours of the cafwhich is open 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Saturday.

"Don't quote me as 'soon' on that," he said. "It's going to involve me being totally ready and my employees being ready to do that. It's going to be months before that happens, maybe even six months."

Davis, who lives in Overland Park with his wife and young children, said he hopes to move closer to Tonganoxie.

Meanwhile, former owners Bob and Connie Branham are finding that leaving the cafas been a bittersweet experience.

"I miss the employees," Connie Branham said. "I miss the customers. Several of our customers have come by the house to see us."

On the other hand, she said, "It's kind of a relief, to not have the 'hurry up, I've got to get this done' kind of thing.'"

Next week, the couple will reopen B and B Auto Sales, a used-car dealership at 215 U.S. Highway 24-40 they purchased in July.

"We're really not doing anything this week, just kind of taking it easy," Branham said.

Both of the Branhams worked in the business that they purchased five years ago, which afforded them little flexibility with their time. Family obligations led them to sell the caf
It's likely the couple will frequent their former business.

"I hope we can," Branham said, "depending on what hours we have at the car lot."

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