PARKERSBURG - A longtime city establishment soon will be moving downtown with hopes of keeping its current clientele and gaining new regulars, the owner said. "I really can't wait to get in there and get started and see what happens," said Marilyn Plum, owner of The Corner Cafe.
The homestyle cafe was at 660 Liberty St. before moving to 1401 Staunton Ave. years ago. This upcoming move, Plum said, was not something she looked forward to and was not her idea.
"In January, GoMart purchased the property to build a new location and we must be out of Staunton Avenue by the end of May," Plum said. She had planned to tear down some buildings near the old location on Liberty Street and build a new restaurant there.
Mike Matheny, chief executive officer of Matheny Motors, poses with Marilyn Plum, owner of the Corner Cafe, in front of the former Matheny Motors showroom at Third and Ann streets. The restaurant will move into the former showroom next month as GoMart has purchased the restaurant’s existing site on Staunton Avenue. (Photo by Jolene Craig)
It was about the same time she was feeling the shock from the estimated costs of her plans that Plum was approached by Tim Matheny to move into the old building at Third and Ann streets.
"We had the space and Tim likes to try new, different things," said Mike Matheny, CEO of Matheny Motors. "Putting restaurants in (vehicle dealerships) has become a trend in our industry and many are very successful, so we decided to do it."
Plum said she is both comfortable and excited with the move.
"Before Tim offered me the space, I was worried about building my own place and everything it involved, and once I saw the space he was offering, it felt like home," she said. "I think they came down to earth to help me.
"The Mathenys are angels to me, and I really appreciate everything," Plum said.
The Corner Cafe will be closed the week of Memorial Day as the Staunton Avenue location is packed and the new restaurant is prepared. The Corner Cafe at Matheny Motors is expected to open at 7 a.m. June 3.
"I'm not looking forward to the actual move because of the work, but I can't wait to get the new cafe open," Plum said. "I'm very excited about starting new downtown."
With the new location will come new hours and other changes, Plum said. Doors will open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. on weekdays with plans for Saturday hours through the summer.
To attract new customers, the cafe will open early for breakfast and stay open late.
"We will open early to serve breakfast to people working downtown and plan to stay open in the evening so people going to the Smoot or spending time at Point Park will be able to stop for a snack," Plum said.
The fun and games people currently get during a meal at the cafe will not only continue, but grow after the move, Plum said.
"Our Thursday trivia winner will not only get a free meal, but Mike Matheny will give a free oil change and car wash," Plum said. "I can't believe I have been given such great partners who want to make the customers and me feel at home."
Along with giving the staff at Matheny Motors a close, good place to eat while at work, Plum said she and her staff hope to see others who work downtown.
"We have a great customer base that I know will follow us to Matheny's, but I hope to see a lot of new faces join our family," she said. "There are so many opportunities for us here that I want to explore all of them."