Mr. and Mrs. Ganado Mayor serve up burgers with a side of family
Jennifer Lee Preyss
Aug. 24, 2013 at 3:24 a.m.
GANADO - The smell of fresh coffee and burgers sizzling on the grill are commonplace at the Ganado Cafe.
The cafe's plate lunches and homemade specialty items attract customers from as far away as Illinois, who while traveling south during winter just stop in Ganado and munch on the famed Reuben sandwich of cafe owner Lori Tegeler.
"We have a sign-in book, and one of our customers said they've tried every Reuben from here to Illinois, and they said our Reuben sandwich is the best," she said.
Inside, the cafe doesn't look much different than it did about 70 years ago when it first opened on South Third Street.
Open tables greet customers when they walk through the door, and toward the back of the narrow diner, a row of swivel barstools allows for quick and convenient order-up service.
When the restaurant was purchased, Clinton Tegeler, Ganado's mayor and cafe co-owner, said he and his wife wanted to have a burger joint that was as authentic as possible.
"It's been sitting here since the 1940s, and it's just one of the places that's always been here next to the Ganado theater," he said. "It's part of Ganado."
The Tegelers said they purchased the building about five years ago because it was Lori's dream to own her own restaurant.
Clinton, an entrepreneur and Jackson County businessman, knew he could make her dream a reality.
They combined their skills and know-how and bought the space for $28,000. They were finally able to add a restaurant to their list of family businesses.
"I've been cooking since I don't even know what age, and I've waited tables since I was 15," said Lori, the cafe's chef. "Having people come in and enjoy the food I cook is special to me. We couldn't make it without them."
Mr. and Mrs. Mayor, as they are known, said they hope the cafe continues to prosper and remains for years to come in the Tegeler family.
"I could see our kids one day taking it over," she said.
But mostly, they want the Ganado Cafe to be around long enough to serve as many Ganado burgers, chicken-fried steaks and Reuben sandwiches as they can.
"We just want people to enjoy the food and the atmosphere here," Clinton said.