Out in Paradise, the Cracker
November 3, 2008 | PARADISE -- The Cracker Barrel Café
& Catering has reopened under new ownership.
Annette and John Drew, from Orange County, Calif.,
bought the building and property from the Olsen family
who originally purchased it in 1980. The café opened
four weeks ago after being purchased by the Drews in
February. It had been fairly run down and sanitation
was a huge problem. Now the café is completely renovated
and just received an excellent food sanitation and safety
inspection. The Drews are proud of this accomplishment
and the report by Bear River Health Department is taped
to the front register.
"When we opened everyone [in the area] went home and
called everyone they knew. The busiest day we've had
up to this date was the Friday after we opened. All
the pent up demand," said John.
The building was completely gutted. Everything inside
and outside of the building, including some new walls,
was renovated. A restaurant designer came in to do the
layout for the café in order to help fit all of the
necessary equipment. The Drews also visited the health
department and asked for a list of everything they needed
to do in order to create a flourishing, clean restaurant.
The café has an excellent local feel to it with booths,
bar, and tables available for seating. It provides a
very "at home in the country" feel. The menu contains
many local favorites and varying possibilities for different
palates. The lettuce is crisp, the sandwiches hot, and
the fries are a perfect amount of country. Pumpkin soup
is offered as one of the daily specials and is a favorite.
The staff consists of the Drews and local students in
the area. The service is very hospitable and comfortable.
Halloween did not go unnoticed at the café, and the
entire crew was in costume to sport holiday spirit.
"Our trout has been one of the top selling items on
the menu," said Drew. He was speaking of the trout which
is locally raised by Sportman's Paradise in Cache Valley.
Another local company Weeks Berries provides fresh jam
and jelly for the restaurant.
The business plan is to support the community, and
in return the community will support the café. The Drews
plan to support marathons and biking events by setting
up portable restrooms, water, and Gatorade outside of
their restaurant which is along the race paths. They
also allow kids in the area to spend their time at the
café and plan to put picnic tables outside along the
The Cracker Barrel offers catering as well. It is
the only food establishment in Paradise, but they do
draw attention from areas other than the south end of