When Dennis and Michelle, our Fun 101.3 morning radio duo, heard their next dining destination was going to be Gracie’s on West Main in Leola, they wondered what type of eating establishment it would be. Michelle thought it was a diner, as she heard about their scrumptious breakfasts which are served all day. Dennis thought it was more of a café because, after looking online, it didn’t have that typical “diner” atmosphere. In the end, it really didn’t matter what category the restaurant fit into. What resonated was the food and the fun dining experience they shared.
Jim and Gracie opened Gracie’s in 2013 with only 400 square feet of space, six breakfast items on the menu, and zero restaurant equipment. Now, three years later and 4,200 square feet at the same spot, Gracie’s continues to please its clientele. Jim says of his restaurant, “It’s still a little bit of a hidden gem.”
The first thing that caught Michelle’s eye as she walked into Gracie’s was the chalkboard-covered walls gracing inspirational quotes from the famous to the infamous. Our radio crew learned that one of the owners, Gracie (yes, there is a Gracie), chose all of the quotes herself and precisely printed them onto the chalkboard, accenting them with her artful drawings.
“I wonder how long it takes to write out all of these sayings,” said Michelle as she gazed at the boards intensely. We came to find out that Gracie changes them every few months.
Gracie told our table that husband and business partner Chef Jim planned to take Dennis and Michelle through breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert in about an hour with some of their customers’ favorite dishes made with farm fresh local ingredients.
Their signature sugar powdered French Toast comes out of the kitchen stuffed with house smoked ham, caramelized bacon, and scrambled eggs as their version of a Monte Cristo, or a variation of the French staple, Croque-Monsieur. Dennis says, “It looks like two huge pieces of French toast with a lot of goodies in between.” Michelle adds, “I’ll toast to that.” Gracie’s is a BYOB restaurant with no corkage fee all day long.
For access to the full article, reference page 119 of the Issue 39 pdf.
Photos by Will Marks