Langtry Café looking for a buyer

Published 9:25 am Friday, September 14, 2012

Langtry Cafe owners Cheryl and Steve Nagel have given the cafe on Main Street new life since taking the site over a little more than a year ago. They are now looking to sell the business. -- Herald file photo

A Brownsdale couple has put their café on the market in hopes a buyer could alleviate some growing pains.

Cheryl Nagel, who owns the Langtry Café with her husband, Steve, said the business has accelerated ever since it opened in February 2011. Now, the two are looking at selling to an owner who can manage the extra hustle and bustle of a growing restaurant.

Business is booming at the Langtry, but a lack of adequate staff, plus licensing costs from the Health Department are taking their toll. Langtry has nine employees, only two of which work in the kitchen.

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“My husband is working very long hours,” Cheryl said. “He can’t keep that up.”

Recently, a second problem surfaced. A visit from the Health Department resulted in a $150 fine, which Cheryl said was because the restaurant serves alcohol but does not pay what she said the department called a “hospitality fee.” The Nagels were not aware of that requirement.

“We had our city clerk here look into the matter,” she said.

But the clerk wasn’t familiar with it either, so she and Steve asked all the way up to the state level, where still no one seemed to know of it, she said.

The Nagels are torn. On one hand, Cheryl said the lack of kitchen staff and the “nickel and diming” from state fees are overwhelming her and her husband.

“On the other hand, we really like this business and the customers we have,” she said. “We know we have a good thing going.”

While she called the circumstances “unfortunate,” Cheryl said she hopes to find a family willing to take over operations. But if that doesn’t happen anytime soon, she and her husband plan on keeping the Langtry as-is and continuing to serve the Brownsdale area.

“We’re not changing anything until further notice,” she said, and added while laughing, “You’re going to be stuck with us for a while.”