Freshly updated from floor to ceiling, the Classic Cafe is welcoming back customers after six long months.
"We just did not want anything to happen to our clientele or our employees. We thought we better be safe and close down," explained Classic Cafe co-owner Mary Drees. "And so we decided that as long as we were closed, we might as well do a little bit of cleanup."
The restaurant's last day open was April 5, Palm Sunday. They quietly reopened on Friday October 23, with very little fanfare.
"We wanted to do a soft open first, to make sure we had enough room, and everything just right," said Drees. With the new COVID safety measures, the restaurant now seats fifty. Before COVID there was seating for eighty.
This is the first remodel for the Classic Cafe since Bob Drees first opened the restaurant in June of 1994. Sadly, Mr. Drees passed away in 2012 after a battle with cancer. At that time his sister Mary Drees along with sister Jennifer Demski stepped up and took over the reins. Drees and Demski now co-own the restaurant.
Customers who enter the Classic Cafe today will be pleasantly surprised by all the fresh paint, new floors and countertops, but there are no surprises on the menu.
“We decided that since people were so patiently waiting for us to come back, we didn’t want them to come back and find out that their old favorites were missing," Drees said. "We didn’t want to take anything away from them. So we brought back the entire menu. We still have our traditional liver and onions that everybody likes, the meatloaf special, and all the same homemade meals that they’ve been coming here for all these years."
Cliff, Marlene and John are all back at work in the kitchen, still cooking up the good food. Serving up the specials are Kathy, Vicki, Olivia, Marsha, Amy, Margaret and Christine.
"Now that everyone is practicing all the safety guidelines, and knows all about washing their hands, staying clean, wearing the masks. and taking all the extra precautions, we feel confident that we can safely serve everybody," said Drees.
The Classic Cafe will be closed on Mondays for deep cleaning every week. The rest of the week the hours are: Tuesday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 8:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
"It’s so good to see all of our customers," Drees added. "Our customers are like family. We just want to welcome them all back, and see them safe. "
Classic Cafe is located at 6742 W Sylvania Ave, Sylvania, OH 43560, and the phone number is (419) 882-3465.
A Classic Cafe regular customer, Carol, made a "Welcome Back" poster for the restaurant.
Back in June during the shutdown and remodel, a sign was put up on the inside of the Classic Cafe front window, letting customers know that the close was temporary. And on the outside of that window, an unknown passerby stuck a little yellow post-it just below, letting the restaurant staff know they were missed.
Flashback to February 2014, when Classic Cafe cousins Olivia Drees and Katie Spratt were busy selling paper doves in honor of Bob Drees. The ladies began the dove project in 2013, to raise money for brain cancer research at Henry Ford Hermelin Brain Tumor Center at Henry Ford Hospital.