Twins Rockin 50’s Cafe owner Sonia Lee and her workers Nancy Goslein and Abby Stauffer had finished up the lunch shift and their day at the Rockin’ 50’s Cafe in Greenbush in the early afternoon on August 31— for what would prove to be the final time. After nearly 19 years in business, Lee closed the cafe’s doors for business permanently that day.
The decrease in business played a role in Lee’s decision.
“(I) just couldn’t make it,” Lee said. “I don’t like to not have enough money.”
She added how the place requires much remodeling, mentioning how she saw a photo of this building as far back as 1939.
She admitted that COVID did play some role in the decision as well, mentioning how business cut back quite a bit due to everyone only being able to get takeout food for awhile. But, she explained how that was only part of the decision to close.
“When I got COVID then I had to be closed completely for 10 days. That wasn’t any good,” Lee said. “… Times are just changing so much that people don’t have time to come and sit down. And they’re always in a hurry, so they want to get something quick.”
She also added how finding help has proven difficult lately. She did commend the work of employee Nancy Goslein.
Lee and her twin sister Sandy Wyland purchased the cafe building on July 10, 2002— a place formerly owned by Marcie Sather, having operated a restaurant there for some time. The cafe opened along Main Street in Greenbush on November 8, 2002, decorated in a 50’s theme.
In 2003, due to an “overwhelming” response, a change to the senior meal program, and to accommodate their clients, the sisters expanded and remodeled a part of the building next to the south wall of their building.
This cafe represented the second one these sisters— Greenbush natives— had opened. They also had once owned and managed the Twins Corner Cafe in Badger, having opened five years before the cafe in Greenbush, according to the Greenbush Centennial Book. This cafe in Badger remains open today.
Besides the two restaurants, the sisters had a catering/banquet and special order baking business.
Back to the present, Lee will continue to do baking orders as long as she owns the building. She also will continue to make food for catering.
Lee does hope someone buys the building soon. She has had people approach her inquiring about the price she is asking for the business, but that’s the furthest it has gone.
A local daycare group recently visited the building and expressed excitement over possibly using it, Lee said, later mentioning how she is crossing her fingers. She thought the space would be “perfect” for a daycare.
Lee gave one final message to her customers.
“Just a big thank you to everybody that did come in,” Lee said. “We tried, but we couldn’t do it. We tried. And life goes on… There’s always something out (there) for you too, and there is. There’s more jobs than ever now.”
To see the complete story, read the September 15 issue of The Tribune in print or online.