PITTSBURG — Despite owning Harry’s Cafe for 27 years, Betty Farris managed to sell the restaurant within a matter of minutes.
“Jan. 31 was the last day of my contract with the realtor, and Rebecca Adamson called me about buying it on Feb. 1,” Farris said. “Then it just boomeranged from there because we actually changed everything over and sold it in just a couple of minutes.”
Farris said she was pleasantly surprised by how quickly she made the transition.
“What are the odds of my contract expiring one day and then hearing from someone about buying the place the next day,” she said. “It was amazing.”
Adamson, along with her husband, Michael, have been eating at Harry’s for decades.
“Mike has lived here his whole life and has been coming to Harry’s ever since he was a little kid,” Adamson said. “We just didn’t want to see anything happen to it.”
Adamson said there is no remodeling planned for the cafe anytime soon.
“We want to keep it going the way it is, just how Betty had it,” she said. “I’m sure we’ll do some kind of remodeling later on down the road but not right now.”
The new owner grew up in Bunker Hill, a town of about one hundred people in western Kansas and would regularly eat at a local truck stop.
“So when I came to Pittsburg to go to college 25 years ago, I was trying to find a place where you could get breakfast food, homemade food, stuff like that,” she said. “Harry’s was really the only place I ever found that reminded me of that truck stop and that’s why I started coming here.”
Given the relative scarcity of restaurants similar to Harry’s, Adamson stressed the importance of hometown cooking-style cafes.
“If you go to, say, a chain restaurant and get breakfast, it’s OK, but there’s just something different about going to a cafe,” she said. “You just feel more at home and we want to keep it in the community.”
Adamson viewed the purchase as a worthwhile business opportunity, as the cafe continues to draw in regular customers.
“This place has been around since 1934 and we want to keep it going for at least another 30 or 40 years,” she said. “We have four kids who can work here, too, so that’s another reason we thought it would be a good idea to do it.”
Although she no longer owns the cafe, Farris still visits Harry’s whenever she can.
“I told Rebecca I would be willing to work here on Saturday and Sunday or even just be here so that people know I’m still around,” Farris said. “It makes it an easy transition, too.”
Located at 412 N Broadway St, Harry’s is open from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. However, Adamson said she is looking to keep the cafe open until 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday within the next month.
“We’ve heard a lot of people say they would like to see that,” she said. “You need people, though, so we need to get staff hired for that.”
— Brandon Schmitz is a staff writer for the Morning Sun. He can be reached at email@example.com.