ELYRIA — County employees, downtown businesses and others soon will be able to pick up the phone and place an order for lunch to be delivered to their door.
“People won’t have to leave their offices,” Sue Quayle said moments after learning that the county commissioners approved a one-year lease with her to operate a full-service restaurant in the basement of the county Administration Building.
“I’d been getting calls all morning from people asking if I’d heard anything yet,” Quayle said Wednesday. “Now I can tell them it’s official. I’m really excited about this. It’s going to be fun.”
Quayle, 45, runs the Corner Cone Shoppe and Cafe on Butternut Ridge Road in LaPorte. She hopes to have her new venture in the county building up and running by June 9.
“That doesn’t give us a lot of time but we’re hard workers,” Quayle said.
The new eatery will be known as The Diner, which plans to operate 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays.
“We’ll be open as long as the building is open,” Quayle said.
The new cafe will operate where a former food operation existed for three years, closing in July 2011. That business’ owner, Lillian Cloudt, a Wellington coffee shop owner, decided to shut down over the venue’s profitability.
The menu of the new cafe will feature soups, salads, subs, ice cream, milkshakes and other items.
Those who get to work in the morning without breakfast will be able to pick up doughnuts, pastries, bagels, parfaits, pancakes and French toast sticks.
“We want to make sure everything is affordable for employees as well as the public,” Quayle said in noting all menu items will be less than $10, with many costing well below that.
Danish and party trays will be available for meetings.
The new restaurant will have a website and phone number for placing orders by opening day, Quayle said.
Quayle expects to employ about 10 people, and she is in the process of hiring them.
“We’re looking for dedicated people who are willing to jog to the Justice Center and different places of business in the downtown area,” Quayle said. “You can walk faster than you can drive to many places. That’s why we’ll have runners, if feasible.”
With quick delivery service, Quayle hopes noontime diners will be able to enjoy their 30-minute lunch breaks.
Quayle was one of two parties that came forward in recent months with proposals for a new cafe.
The other party was Donna Dove, owner of Donna’s Diner, according to Commissioner Lori Kokoski, who voted against the lease for Quayle, saying she preferred Dove’s proposal since it was submitted first.
“I’m sure the other one is perfectly fine,” Kokoski said. “I just thought we’d be dealing with Donna.”
Dove could not be reached for comment.
“This is a first,” Republican Commissioner Tom Williams joked of the 2-1 vote that saw him in the affirmative with Commissioner Ted Kalo, a Democrat.
“She presented a very professional plan,” Williams said of Quayle. “There’s not a lot of selections downtown. Hopefully this will be a positive for the city and our employees.”
Quayle will operate on a year-to-year contract “but I’m looking for longevity, not the short-term.”
She plans to operate her LaPorte business as well as The Diner for the time being.
“This is a perfect opportunity to get involved with the community,” Quayle said. “I love people.”
Contact Steve Fogarty at 329-7146 or firstname.lastname@example.org.