(Independent Photo/Karen Mead-Elford)
Newly opened on Monday, Feb. 1, the Ole General Store & Café in downtown Vernon has a full, home-style menu to offer customers – complete with breakfast, lunch and dinner options. Pizza is available, too.
Michelle and Matt Shafer of Vernon are the owners of the new eatery. Michelle is a Vernon native, having attended Corunna Schools before obtaining a background in business management and accounting. Her husband, Matt, is from the Durand and Vernon area, as well. The couple gathered together a team of family members in launching the new restaurant, including their daughter, Briana Warner, and Michelle’s sisters and a cousin. The entire family is invested in the Vernon community.
“This is a new adventure,” Michelle said. She explained that she and Matt had discussed starting a restaurant approximately two years ago, and were in the process of looking for a building when plans were temporarily delayed because of the pandemic. When the option of leasing the building at 100 E. Main St. presented itself, Michelle was pleased with the opportunity. The site has hosted a number of popular restaurants over previous years, but has been empty for some time.
Michelle shared how she loves to cook. She previously worked in a factory for 17-years. “This restaurant is just more my element,” she said. “I’m a mom of two and I love to cook.”
Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday. Breakfast is served until 10 a.m. The business is closed on Monday for thorough sanitization to maintain pandemic protocols. Fridays will include a fish fry – with fish battered and fried on location. Offering quality, home-style comfort food options is significant to Michelle, emphasizing that the food available at the Ole General Store & Café is made on site – and not pre-packaged for reheating.
The interior of the eatery now sports a mix of historic charm and open-air appeal. Clean, new flooring replaced old carpet. Seating is carefully arranged to accommodate social distancing – and everything is clean and tidy for the public. Look for the large metal rooster on the corner of the building.
Michelle invites everyone to stop in to the new restaurant, and also to enjoy the appeal of downtown Vernon.