The restaurant, though, will finally appease curious passers-by since the businesses opened Tuesday.
According to owner Amy Fulton, a 1994 Norwalk High School graduate, Main Street Cafe will feature homemade foods with a country cafe feel.
“Almost everything there is homemade, all the soups, the sausage gravy, the kraut balls, basically everything,” Fulton said. “Even our potato salad in the salad bar is homemade. We also do our own beer batter for onion rings and fried mushrooms.”
While not all of the recipes are her own original concoctions, they are ones that are close to her heart.
“I got all the recipes for the chicken noodle soup, all the soups, even the turtle soup from the Sharp family that used to own the East Side Cafe in Sandusky, which was open for like 50 years,” she said. “They closed a couple years ago and I worked there and became really close with the whole family that owned it. When I started this whole process they gave me all of their recipes they had there and really helped me start my own cafe.”
Fulton is a first-time business owner, but this isn’t her first rodeo in the food industry. The mother of two has worked as a waitress, in the kitchen and as a manager in the field since she was a teenager.
“Everywhere I’ve worked I started out as an employee and ended up being charge,” she said. “So I have tons of experience.”
This was the start of what has become a life-long dream.
“My whole plan when I was a teenager was to own my own restaurant but it didn’t happen for tons of years down the line,” Fulton said.
“I loved the people, loved talking to them and hearing about what’s going on with them. I just felt connected with the customers. Then when I worked at East Side Cafe, everyone that came in, they were just treated like family and friends. (The Sharps) cared about everybody. I learned to do that. I connected with people.”
Fulton is hoping to recreate that now with her Main Street Cafe.
“My hope for the cafe uptown is when they come in is they become like family and we get to know everyone by first name,” she said.”When people come in, they feel at home.”
Her food will be “good, comfort food” but will offer healthier options, like a salad and soup bar.
“Our logo is ‘Made with Love,’” Fulton said when asked what makes her dishes different.
“That comes from my daughter being a very picky eater,” she said. “She went through phase where she’d only eat grilled cheese sandwiches and she’d always say ‘These are the best grilled cheese sandwiches ever!’ And I’d say ‘Well that’s because it’s made with love.’ I just thought since then, if everything was made with love, then it always has to be the best ever.”
The menu features hand-pressed burgers, wraps, fresh salads, as well as a full breakfast menu.
“We have our own hand-sliced homefries. We get our bacon and sausage from Routh Packaging,” she said. “We do eggs, omelettes, pancakes that are huge — they’re the size of the plate, french toast and a complete full breakfast.”
For those who go and dine in, Fulton said she thinks the salad and soup bar, which come together, will be a big hit.
Main Street Cafe also will offer a pick-up option for any who want to call their orders in. Delivery will be available for businesses on the Main Street stretch.
The location formerly housed such eateries as the Pressed Cafe, Mia Famiglia’s, Uptown Cafe and, most recently, Bohmeian Wrapsody.
The last restaurant closed in October.
“Bohemian Wrapsody has experienced hot water system complications for the past week,” the former owners posted on Facebook. “It has been determined by a local plumbing professional that the system must be replaced in order to regain hot water. The building owner was contacted to relay the fact that the system needs to be replaced immediately. The building owner stated that he will not replace the hot water system.”
Fulton said the system has been repaired.
“I don’t know what the problems were with the others that have been in that location,” she said. “The water heater has been fixed and serviced. We’ve been there almost every day since October. We’ve washed and cleaned and haven’t had any issues with the hot water.”
Main Street Cafe will be open from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday through Friday and 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays.