[cleeng_content id="547777459" description="Read it now!" price="0.49" t="article"]Country Cafe and General Store marks 25th year with homecoming fest in Bolivar
Before moving to Jefferson County, Russell Nasteff and Lisa Edel lived in Ocean City, Md., where Nasteff owned a hotel. When the couple rode out here in January 1989, the couple never anticipated staying.
Or buying a restaurant.
But that’s what’s they did, and last weekend the owners of the Country Cafe and General Store celebrated their 25th year in business with current and former employees, longtime and new customers, townsfolk, friends and family.
It’s that kind of place, says Edel, who bought the cafe from its previous owner, Wanda Butts, and converted it from a carryout to a full-service restaurant, retaining both the general store and the old-time charm.
“I like the people here,” Edel said. “And I like preparing the food.”
Before moving to Jefferson County, Edel and Nasteff lived in Ocean City, where Nasteff owned a hotel.
With its cobblestone facade, wood shake front porch shingles and rocking chairs, walking into the Country Cafe is a little like walking into a cabin in the woods.
On Friday, some of those longtime patrons said it’s both the restaurant’s charm and the delicious food — the home fries, potato soup, broccoli salad and biscuits and gravy got more than a few mentions — that has kept them customers all these years.
Jefferson County Circuit Judge John Yoder says he comes early on weekends so Dan Riss won’t take his seat. Riss, who is retired from the Harpers Ferry Design Center, has been coming to Country Cafe since 1974.
Riss said it’s like eating out and being home at the same time.
“The proportions are not gargantuan; they’re just right,” he said.
Carol Gallant said coming to the restaurant is like going home to family.
“It’s like ‘Cheers’ where everybody knows your name,” she said.
The restaurant has also seen its fair share of celebrities and has played host to actors Richard Gere, fresh off the Appalachian Trail, Danny Aiello and Robert Duvall, as well as former President Bill Clinton, onetime Secretary of State Madeline Albright, U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski of Maryland and King Abdullah of Jordan in 2009, who turned a visit with President Barack Obama into an opportunity to tour the area on a motorcycle.
The Country Cafe is located at 1715 W. Washington St. It’s open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. every day.