Two months after opening the Stagecoach Cafe in New Carlisle, Andrea Barr and her mother Vicki Wallingford have learned something about their customers that bodes well for a new restaurant.
“The people in this town are the soup-eatingest people I’ve ever seen,” Wallingford joked. “That’s a good thing.”
The restaurant, at 120 W. Jefferson St., is Barr’s first business. After just two months, they’ve developed several regular customers, including one who loaned them a clock from the 1850s as a decoration and arrives every morning to make sure it’s wound properly.
And they’ve added an extra soup option on the menu each day after learning early on that it sells out quickly.
The restaurant, complete with many hand-crafted decorations along the walls, has fared better than Barr could have hoped so far. All the food is homemade, including bread they bake fresh every morning.
“We’ve gotten a reception in this town you wouldn’t believe,” Barr said of her customers.
It’s Barr’s first experience running a restaurant but Wallingford has been in the business for 30 years and supplied many of the recipes. They said they work well together, with Wallingford usually in the kitchen and Barr manning the register and serving customers.
They’re both up before 5 a.m. each day to set up and start making breakfasts that include cinnamon rolls, biscuits and gravy and breakfast burritos. Lunch options include sandwiches (but no burgers), soups, salads and a daily special that could be lasagna or chicken and noodles, one of Wallingford’s favorite recipes.
Barr initially wanted to operate a food truck. But when she became aware of an open space near one of New Carlisle’s busier intersections, she jumped at the chance. The restaurant’s name comes from the fact the building was initially used as a stagecoach stop when it was built in 1856, she said.
Barr had worked at an office in Fairborn previously, and said it was often hard to find anything besides fast food. She also doesn’t sell burgers, noting customers can get those at several fast food restaurants in town. Instead, she focused on creating a menu filled with recipes that are made from scratch each day.
“This is the good, old-fashioned food we all grew up eating,” Barr said.