L.D.'s has been dishing it up
at the heart of Richmond for nearly 50 years, and still
By Brooke Barker
February 10, 2006 | RICHMOND --The worn, orange counters
have seen many elbows and held many plates, and signs
are beginning to show as brown spots are beginning to
peak through the bright surface. L.D.'s Cafe has been
around for more than 40 years to greet the locals with
tasty food and good company.
"If someone doesn't come in for a few days we start
to worry, until we find out they're just on vacation,"
Laura Orvin said. Orvin has worked as a waitress at
L.D.'s for 17 years and the regulars have become like
family to her.
L.D.'s began a long time before Orvin. L.D. Bowcutt
grew up in the restaurant business. His father had owned
several restaurants, hotels and small businesses in
Idaho and Utah. When selling insurance didn't seem to
be working out in Bowcutt's favor, he sold those businesses
and focused his energy on a restaurant as well. Some
days Bowcutt would be in the cafe from 6:30 in the morning
until 11:30 or 12 at night, leaving only for a few hours
in the middle of the day.
Before Bowcutt opened the restaurant in 1959, the
small building on Main Street previously served as a
barber shop, furniture store, grain and feed store,
and caskets were even made in the back room.
"I think it's the atmosphere and uniqueness that keeps
people coming back. It's somewhere the locals can come
to talk about the weather, the price of grain, the price
of animals and who knows what else," said Bowcutt.
Bowcutt and his wife Ann continue to run the restaurant.
In the afternoons, Bowcutt can be seen helping out in
the kitchen, talking to old friends or just hanging
out in his cowboy boots and button up shirt. Although
the business seems to be the main focus in his life,
he claims he wouldn't continue to do it, if he didn't
really love it.
The restaurant has three main rooms. The front area
has a counter and several booths. Breakfast, lunch and
dinner are all prepared along the opposite side of the
room. Decorations cover the windows and are mostly holiday
oriented: right now it's hearts and cupids for Valentine's
Day next week. Ketchup, fry sauce and syrup bottles
hide an old switch for the alarm system.
"Before the days of 911, the cafe was the call station
for the volunteer fire department and sheriff's office.
Whenever there was an emergency here in town, they'd
call us and we'd kick the switch to set off the sirens
and call whoever we needed to," said Bowcutt.
The back room has pool tables, a bar, big screen TV,
round dinner tables scattered around the edges, and
a jukebox creating the mood with songs like Tim McGraw's
"Indian Outlaw" playing.
"Even though we serve beer, it's the least of our
sales. We want L.D.'s to be a family place; somewhere
you can eat dinner and watch the ball game on TV," said
With a restaurant having been around for so long,
silly and unusual things are bound to have happened
within the walls of L.D.'s.
"I've seen engagements, belly dancers come in and
embarrass their husbands, a heart attack, and an individual
came in here one time with a shotgun looking for a man
who was stepping out with his wife. It looked like someone
hunting for pheasants in a field," said Bowcutt.
The third and newest room is the dining room. Its
white walls and long tables are a stark contrast from
the rest of the restaurant. Memorabilia from the city's
Black and White Days adorns the walls. The main attraction,
however, is a flag dedicated to the cafe by Sgt. R.G.
Lowe, while serving in Afghanistan. Several pictures
also show friends of L.D.'s serving in Afghanistan standing
near a post that reads, "L.D.'s, 6,869 miles" and points
in the direction of the cafe.
With all the seating, Bowcutt says sometimes on the
weekend there's only standing room. On the weekends
the cooks get to prepare a few steak and shrimp combos.
So much shrimp gets used each week that L.D. starts
flouring and preparing the shrimp on Wednesday.
The menu also has everything from grilled cheese to
burgers and salads. There's also a wide range of breakfasts
Some of the regulars, who travel from as far as Downey,
Idaho, and Salt Lake City, claim L.D.'s has the best
burger for 100 miles around.
L.D.'s Cafe is open from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m. every
day, and the address is 39 W. Main Street in Richmond.
You may want to call the cafe at 435-258-5135 to see
if there's a seat for you.