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Paula wanted to own a restaurant when she was 13 years old and was finally thrilled to have the chance to fulfill her dream. She became owner in 2003 and has doubled her business every year since. The key to the 9th Street Cafe tenure is a unique combination of customer service, hours, menu, a strong work ethic and a clean, nonsmoking atmosphere. Come visit Marions best kept secret!

 


Marion Chronicle – Tribune

Cafe giving clients what they want

Smoke-free 9th Street Cafe a big hit

by Brett Wallace

There were five restaurants at 1802 W. Ninth Street in the previous eight years before Paula Harner bought the building.

Now her 9th Street Cafe has been around for five years. Harner said the key to her tenure is a unique combination of customer service, hours, menu, a strong work ethic and a cleanly, nonsmoking atmosphere.

“If nothing else, I contribute nonsmoking being a huge factor,” she said.

If helps her attract customers like church and school groups who don't want a restaurant with smoking, even in a partitioned atmosphere.

“Even smokers like it because it's clean,” she said.

Harner and her staff of seven open for business at 5 a.m. to attract individuals both leaving and on their ways to work. It's why Harner decided to craft a diverse menu even though she was only open for breakfast and lunch.

“You can get a hamburger two minutes after 5 or eggs at 1:50,” she said.

The most popular items are the breaded tenderloin sandwich, biscuits and gravy and the hamburger, which Harner said is seven ounces of fresh ground chuck.

Larry Layman and Jack Corbett or Marion are two of the cafe's regular customers.

Layman cited the lack of smoking and the atmosphere as two of the business' big draws.

“The food's good, and the place is clean,” he said. “The waitresses always have a smile.”

They agreed that the clientele is a respectful one.

“It's really good people that come here,” Corbett said.

Harner wanted to own a restaurant when she was a young as 13 years old and was finally thrilled to have the chance to fulfill her dream.

Now, she works long hours but is happy with the results of her effort.

“Every year our business doubles,” she said. “I couldn't be more proud of this place and the amount of growth in five years.”

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