Cafe changes hands, not service
Thomaston — Long-time restaurateurs Herbert and Eleanor Peters are turning over the apron-strings of the Thomaston Cafe to new owners.
After 50 years in the business — 24 at the 154 Main St. establishment — the Peters are looking forward to spending some time relaxing and traveling. And they are not turning the cafe over to just anyone.
Ryan Jones takes the helm of the local eatery, bringing with him more than 15 years of experience — and continuing a friendship he started with Peters 20 years ago. He said he will keep Peters on the payroll so he can take a day off every now and then.
"When you enjoy it, it's not really work," said Jones about taking over the Thomaston Cafe. He has worked in many hotels and restaurants throughout the Midcoast, as well as Florida and Massachusetts.
From studying pastry arts in Austria to being banquet chef at the Samoset, Jones now will blend it all together to continue offering freshness to diners with locally grown and raised vegetables, chicken and beef from his Farmer Jones' Organics farm on Beechwood Street.
Set to reopen Tuesday, July 1, the Cafe is undergoing some renovations. Jones and partner Marci Molloy are busy painting, organizing and revamping the establishment, and dusting off some of the benches from the original Anderson Cafe from the 1920s that Peters had stored away.
Jones plans to utilize the farm-to-table concept to deliver fresh tastes to his diners. After selling nearly all his produce and beef to The Landings and Trackside Station last year, Jones is in the process of adding to his organic gardens. Asparagus, cilantro, tomatoes, garlic and kale are just a few of the items he is growing for use at the restaurant.
"I can't believe it has evolved to this," said Jones, adding "I never thought in a million years I'd have my own restaurant."
He will also bake four or five varieties of bread fresh daily and prides himself on his signature dessert, creme brulee.
All six heads of cattle at his farm have names. The three Holstein-Angus are Moose, Spot and Cocoa. Two babies, Hanz and Franz, are pinzgaures, calves raised strictly for beef. They each will get up to 3,000 pounds. And another cow aptly named Abel.
"We usually buy sets of cattle," said Jones. "But a farmer called and said 'I have a bull for you.' Thus the name."
The cafe will maintain its current title as Thomaston Cafe. It will be closed Mondays.
Courier Publications reporter Beth A. Birmingham can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 125 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
594-4401 ext. 125
Beth rejoined Courier Publications' news staff in February 2013. She previously worked at The Courier-Gazette from 1981 to 1990.
Her coverage area includes Warren, Union, Friendship, Waldoboro, Washington, and Thomaston and RSU40.
Beth has a passion for photography, and a degree from the University of Maine at Augusta, in affiliation with the Maine Photographic Workshop in Rockport.
Aside from photography, Beth enjoys running and walks along the waterfront, as well as other outdoor activities. She has a daughter, Claire, who is 15.