Café 421 Owners Offer Breakfast All Day, Plus Food for Thought
Photos/Text By Renee Burrell
Dave Cramer and Mary Ann Lee are proud to bring Café 421 to downtown Clearwater. Pictured (left) with their crew: Alex, Jessica, Josh (Dizi), and Tessa.
Dave Cramer, the former owner of Jolli Mon's in Dunedin, has opened a new restaurant in downtown Clearwater with partner Mary Ann Lee. The Café is located at 421 Cleveland Street and is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
The shortened hours are the result of Cramer and Lee's desire to have more family time. "In this industry, people chase the dollar and sacrifice a lot in the process," said Cramer. "We based the Café's hours of business as such that would allow time for our love of family and each other and we both agree there is no amount of money to be made that could replace that. We often get suggestions to change our hours of business and our reply is: 'Write down three things that are most important to you then cross off two of them. We did and family was the most important'."
Cramer moved to Florida in 1983 from Colorado and has opened five previous restaurants, most recently Jolli Mon's, which he sold. Having worked in restaurants since he was 15 and graduating from the School of Hard Knocks, Cramer said he doesn't compromise his values when it comes to his customers either. "In this economy I would never cut portion size. I'd rather charge an extra dollar rather than skimp on quantity or quality."
Café 421's menu lists so many great entrees; it's hard to decide what to order. On top of serving classic breakfast dishes all day long, burgers, wraps, and sandwiches made from Boar's Head meats, Mexican dishes like quesadillas made fresh and loaded with chicken and cheese, are featured.
"I put a lot of love into my cooking," said Cramer. Proof of this is evident in the pulled pork he prepares two different ways-barbecue or jerk style. "It was one of my original recipes and I improved it."
Desserts are baked by Lee, who said her passion for baking and cooking was inspired at a young age by her mother who handed down family favorites. Cramer said of Lee, "When I first met her I knew she had a talent in the kitchen that matched my own and I thought how great it would be to put our efforts together in a business. What a combo!"
Café 421 is located at 421 Cleveland Street. Open weekdays from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Metered parking is available in front of the restaurant, and free parking at Harborview on Osceola and Cleveland is a two minute walk. Phoning ahead for orders is recommended, so call (727) 442-8680.
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