O’FALLON- A new location for O’Fallon’s Sweet Katie Bee’s cafe is one step closer to reality with construction of a new facility under way on First Street in downtown.
The new site, next door to the Outdoorsman and Shooters, marks the first new building in downtown O’Fallon “in a long time,” according to assistant city administrator Grant Litteken.
Sweet Katie Bee’s owner and operator Beth Hendrix said that developer Brad McMillin, owner of the Peel restaurant building, first approached her about relocating to First Street.
“We said that we were interested,” Hendrix said.
Hendrix said that the cafe’s original location at 212 E State St. has outgrown its space, especially when it comes to kitchen work.
“We have to shift people on – the pastry chef comes in first and the prep crew comes in after that,” Hendrix said. “It’s so tiny.”
She also said that the small dining area has also created issues for customers.
“People say that they would love to bring the office in but they can’t bring six people,” she said.
Hendrix said that the cafe has signed a lease for November.
“He’s (McMillin) fast,” she said. “I’ve seen some of the things he has built and it goes up very fast.”
Manager Gary Stein said that while the goal has been to be there in November, a lot depends on weather and “other factors.”
Hendrix said the new First Street location will offer double the square footage of its current location, and with that additional space, she’d like to have a Sunday brunch.
She said she would also like to continue to open on certain evenings throughout the week at the new location.
“We started opening in the evening where we just have dinner, dessert and coffee. People will come in and play music. We want to do this at the new place, possibly with wine and beer options,” she said.
“I’ll definitely be able to hire more staff.”
Hendrix and Stein said that the prospect of relocating is “exciting.”
“We feel like one of those hamsters in a habitrail. We are just running really hard but not able to grow,” Hendrix said. “When we think of it, it’s hard to conceptualize how awesome it is going to be.”