It all started with a move back to Fayetteville. After spending time out west managing different restaurants, Chanse Bartlett bought a farm here in Lincoln County and moved home. That’s when Chanse and his wife Catherine found out a new addition to the family – a baby boy – was on the way.
Moving, buying a house, and planning for a new child would be challenging enough for most people. For Chanse and Catherine, it became the tipping point towards opening their own restaurant.
“We found out about him and said, if we’re gonna do it, we’re gonna do it now.”
Search wise – finding a building didn’t take long. The couple found the perfect spot on the square and bought it last September. From there, it was a quick dash to be open by the time Host of Christmas Past rolled into town.
Opening a new restaurant the weekend of Host of Christmas Past isn’t for the faint of heart. Opening any restaurant really is a challenge, even without the large crowds strolling the square during the festival. But for Catherine and Chanse, it was one of the best weekends they’ve had.
“We opened up and it was way more than I expected. But looking back, it was the best decision we’ve made. It’s like we had an angel watching over everything.”
Packed tables. New waitresses. Chanse turning out food from the kitchen as fast as he could. Customers even saw Catherine, six months pregnant at this point, helping to wait table and chat with customers. Throughout it all, customers raved about the delicious food and gave high reviews for the opening weekend.
Since that opening weekend, The Local Cafe’s menu has almost doubled with new items and specials rotating through all the time. The restaurant’s local roots show up in the menu with customer favorites like The Fedvilly and The Molino.
With a bigger menu, Chanse and Catherine also expanded the bar into beer, wine, and even mimosas. Brunch and dinner menus later this summer are in the works.
They’ve also worked with other local businesses and participated in different downtown events like Go Green and Small Business Saturday. Between their business and other new ones popping up, Chanse is excited for Fayetteville.
“Someone asked me about the new restaurants going in around the square. It’s great – a rising tide lifts all ships. The more options we have here, the more people that are going to come downtown.”
Check out The Local Cafe’s Facebook page for menus, hours, and more.