Monday morning, Sept. 16 will mark the reopening of one of Hillsboro’s popular gathering places as Momma’s West Main Cafe will open its doors bright and early at 8 a.m.
The restaurant was forced to close after the building housing it was deemed unfit for habitation on April 16 of this year due to alleged safety issues according to former Hillsboro Building Inspector Anton Weissman, who has since been terminated from his position with the city.
It was Weissman who deemed the old Parker House, the building housing Momma’s West Main Cafe, and the former home of a Hillsboro AAA office a menace to safety.
Hillsboro Safety and Service Director Dick Donley told city council Monday that he was trying to move things along so the restaurant could reopen. And, true to his word, Donley was at the restaurant Wednesday to announce with co-owners Bobbie and Jeretta Barr that the eatery will be open for business as usual on Monday morning. He also said barricades have been removed in front of the restaurant to accommodate parking.
Jeretta Barr told The Times-Gazette she was grateful the original staff was coming back, pointing out the loyalty of one in particular.
“We’ve got this lady who does the dishes who is in her early 70s,” she said. “She told me she couldn’t just sit at home, so she got a job with another restaurant here in town, but she said that when we open back up she’s quitting so she can come back here, and today she told them she was quitting.”
Donley said getting the eatery back in operation took a lot of work and a lot of cooperation between the city, the Barrs and engineers, who took another look at the building at 131 W. Main St.
“Sometimes things happen that just take time to work out,” he said. “I’m just as excited as they are about getting this open again, but it’s about the safety also, and we wanted to make sure that when we did give the permission to reopen, that the patrons would be safe.”
He added that the signs that were posted earlier stating that the buildings were condemned “made it look like it was really bad,” but said that looks can sometimes be deceiving and that the language on those signs was really more than was necessary.
“Their engineer signed off on the inspection and put his stamp of approval on it,” Donley said. “And that makes it acceptable for the city, and I’ve known the Barrs for several years and they’re good people, and I wanted to see them get back in business.”
Bobbie Barr was ecstatic about reopening, saying it had been a long summer, but that she was ready to move forward and bring the good food back for all her many patrons.
Momma’s West High Cafe will be open Monday through Wednesday from 8 a.m to 2 p.m., Thursday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sundays from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“We’re back with a new look, the same great food and the same great staff,” Bobbie Barr said.
Reach Tim Colliver at 937-402-2571.