There was a time when the pace of life was slower, family was everything and there were no cell phones distracting people from a good old fashioned dinner conversation. Life has gotten so busy and hectic, days like that seem as if they are long gone, but one local family is trying to get it back.
Jerry Bannister grew up working at the Trinidad General Store and Cafe. His father, Fred, bought the place which was originally a resale shop. Jerry's mother, Marie, decided she might like to cook for everyone, so she set up a hot plate and got to work. The idea took off so well they had to keep pulling shelves out and adding more tables. She had specials and grill items and the train would stop across the street to let the people come in and have a bite to eat. The couple eventually shut the operation down, but Jerry never forgot his childhood experiences growing up in the cafe. Mom cooked, dad ran the store and he waited tables, but with that came a lot of time with his parents.
“As a kid I didn't think it was fair, but as I got older looking back, I thought about all the time I got to spend with my parents during the day. Dad was very adamant about it being a family owned business.” Jerry said
Dusty and Jerry met about two years ago and started talking about the old days and how that was something they would like for their own seven children. Their children range from 11 to 22 years old. When Jerry's father, Fred passed away in April, the reality of how short life is hit the couple and June 5 they started making that dream a reality. Originally they planned on opening in September and the town's excitement drove them to rush the opening. With school around the corner and sporting events coming up people stop them all the time and ask 'when will you open?”
The Bannisters main goal is for the place to feel like home. They want customers to slow down, enjoy a home cooked meal and be able to enjoy each other and conversation. They want people to feel comfortable talking to them while they prepare their food and have a relaxed family atmosphere.
“Everything is fast food, fast paced, we really want to slow it back down. Go back to where you can talk to people while they are cooking your food. You feel like you're at home. There is nothing worse than going to a restaurant and seeing everyone at the table on their cell phones. We really want to get away from that and make it more simple. Slow it down.” Dusty said.
“We want a comfortable atmosphere,” Jerry said.
Jerry and Dusty have a game table set up for those just wanting to have a cup of coffee and some company.
Dusty is a great cook, but Jerry's mom, Marie is passing on her tips and tricks. They plan on offering two meat choices for the daily specials, such as salmon patties or cabbage rolls, with three veggies, a roll, dessert and a drink for $8.99.
“We are not fast food, everything is made to order,” Dusty said. “Your food will be made much like it would be at home.” Jerry added.
The cafe will open for the first time Monday, August 5 at 7:30 a.m., but their actual grand openings celebration will be held Saturday, August 10. They will have pulled pork sandwich plates with an alternate meat option, a local musician or two and dominoes.
The Trinidad cafe will be open six days a week from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. except for the nights of sporting events where they will stay open later. The cafe is located at 112 Front Street, Trinidad.
They also have a Facebook page: Trinidad Cafe. So come on out, bring the family and prepare to kick up your feet and stay a while.