ELIZABETH - Vonda Jones is realizing a longtime dream.
She's opening Vonda's Cafe, a new restaurant, on Tuesday at Schoolview and Main streets in Elizabeth.
"I've always wanted to have my own restaurant," said Jones, who retired this year from the Wirt County School System.
Vonda Jones stands by the sign of her new restaurant in downtown Elizabeth at Schoolview and Main streets.
The restaurant is the former train depot in Elizabeth, a stopping point for travelers going to Parkersburg and points beyond.
Several businesses have been on the site, Mike's Place operated by Helen Burns and more recently Mom's Place operated by her daughter, Lisa.
The restaurant, which seats 50 people, underwent minor remodeling in anticipation of the opening, Jones said. Six people will work there, she said.
Jones is no stranger to the business.
Jones was a longtime employee at the restaurants while juggling her career as a custodian, then cook and most recently as an aide at the Wirt County Primary Center. She retired after 30 1/2 years working for Wirt County Schools at the beginning of the year.
"I've worked here for years when Helen Burns owned it," Jones said.
But being the sole proprietor is not the same as being an employee, she said.
"I'm scared, but I'm excited," Jones said. "It's different owning it rather than just working here."
The menu will include dishes Jones has learned to cook over the years. She'll do much of the cooking in the kitchen.
"Helen is going to teach me to make pies," Jones said.