Article published Dec 14, 2005
Morning Star Café reopens
Restaurant veterans take over Springfield eatery
SPRINGFIELD — For a year Jerry and Robin Szawerda of Springfield have been looking to run a small restaurant with a community feel.
They found exactly what they were looking for in the Morning Star Café on Main Street.
On Dec. 6, the Szawerdas officially took over the café from former owners Neomi Lauritsen and Robert "Mac" MacIntyre. They opened for breakfast and lunch Tuesday.
The Szawerdas, who moved to Vermont from Wallingford, Conn., in 1994, have been in the restaurant business for 30 years.
They ran the Green Leaf Bed and Breakfast in Chester before owning the Bradford Tavern and Fullerton Inn in Chester.
They sold the Fullerton Inn in 2003. Robin Szawerda said for a while she tried to "do the grandmother thing and work around the house." However, she said she missed being on the go and working nights.
"We don't like just sitting around watching television. This business is in our blood," she said.
Their desire for hard work is showing. They have painted the walls, reupholstered the chairs and replaced the carpet.
Before the opening, they offered complimentary coffee in order to meet customers and get feedback on what they would like to see change or stay the same.
Szawerda said most people told her they like the relaxed and comfortable atmosphere, and she is hoping to build on that.
"We want to bring in antique skis and give it more of a Vermont feel. A warm, cozy feel," she said.
Szawerda said she plans to bring in a moose head that hung on the wall at the Fullerton Inn. "Grandpas used to come in to show their grandchildren the moose head," she said.
Szawerda said though the menu will not change drastically, they would like to add more variety.
"We might tweak it a bit," she said.
The Szawedas received approval for a liquor license by the Springfield Select Board last month and eventually plan to set-up a small bar and open for dinner.
Robin Szawerda said because winter is a slow season, they might wait until the spring to open for dinner.
"If a good chef knocks on our door we may open earlier," she said.
Szawerda said they plan to offer "nice American cuisine at reasonable prices."
The couple said they want to start with breakfast and lunch, and ease into dinner and possibly Sunday brunch.
Szawerda said in terms of making changes, "We want to take it slow and see what people want."