Columbia, SC (WLTX) - It has maybe one of the most loyal customer bases in Columbia - and they were there to celebrate Sadie's American Cafeteria reopening Sunday.
The restaurant was closed for a few days after some financial issues, but they've got a new owner and a new excitement about serving up some home-cooked comfort.
Helen Gartman has worked here for 32 years - first when it was S&S Cafeteria and now that it's Sadie's American Cafeteria. It's her customers that have kept her here so long. "Lot of them's just like family. You get to know them over the years, you see the children grow up, and grandchildren and then they move away," she says.
But Helen isn't moving away any time soon and neither is Sadie's, despite being closed last week. New owner Brett Womack is excited about the possibilities. "I've taken over the company with some solid investors. We're coming in here with zero debt, a little more capital then what was there before, so I feel good about it," he says, "With Sadie's before, our sales were pretty strong, but we just had some financial difficulties that we couldn't overcome."
That meant employees going without paychecks, but Womack says the previous owner will come through with that soon. And they will pay them weekly for awhile instead of bi-weekly to help them back on their feet. "Especially right here at the holidays. We just felt horrible if something had happened and we'd have to close down and 50 or so people would lose their jobs," Womack says, "People sticking with their jobs like this means a lot to a restauranteur, and I have those people on my team."
It's a team Helen is happy to continue to be a part of.