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Stanâ€™s Restaurant on Main Street in Blackfoot has been a gathering place in Blackfoot since 1951.
So when the longtime, family owned eatery closed its doors rather abruptly last week, the word got out fast, leaving patrons and vendors asking â€śwhy?â€ť
Attempts were made by the Morning News to reach the longtime restaurant owner,Gregory Richardson, for comment on the closure of Stanâ€™s last week.
Family spokesman Tom Richardson (Gregoryâ€™s brother) offered to shed some
insight on the closure and the history of Stanâ€™s.
â€śMy parents, Stan and Doris Richardson, opened the restaurant, on March 18, 1951. It served as a 24-hour truck stop cafe since this was the main
highway going through back then,â€ť he said. â€śThe truck stop became well known for its chili, slot machines and old-fashioned punch boards. â€ś
â€śThat was the year that Gregory (the youngest of four children) was born, so he literally grew up around the business. I really donâ€™t remember when he officially took over the restaurant, because he was just
always there. It was natural that he took over the restaurant,â€ť he
Through the years, the restaurant expanded, adding more dining space and a bar (most recently called Bali Hai Lounge). Stanâ€™s grew to be one of the busiest restaurants in Blackfoot. Many flocked to Stanâ€™s through the years for the home-style roasted chicken, cinnamon rolls, Sunday breakfasts and mixed drinks.
Stanâ€™s also served as a meeting place for local organizations such as Rotary Club, the Chamber of Commerce, company Christmas parties and was even a popular hangout for students playing hooky.
To this day, Stanâ€™s had a uniqueness all its own, with its original 9-stool lunch counter still intact, old-fashioned juke boxes, a sunken bar and taxidermy mounted sea creatures on the walls.
However, Tom reports that, sadly, Gregory has battled some serious health problems the past few years and that the restaurant just became too much for him to handle. He is currently hospitalized after undergoing major back surgery on Monday.
â€śHe just kind of lost his zeal for the restaurant and was finding it difficult to stay on top of the business,â€ť Tom said.
Tom went on to say that Gregory has no children to take over Stanâ€™s and that he made the tough decision to close the doors prior to his back surgery, putting the restaurant up for sale after over 60 years of business.
Most recently, Stanâ€™s employed about 15 people. Stanâ€™s Restaurant is listed with Kathy and John Chidester of Town & Country Real Estate in Blackfoot.
Kathy said that she hopes someone will take over the restaurant quickly
and make it as good, or even better, than it was before.
â€śIt would be easy for someone to slide in and take over this place...all
the equipment is here and ready to go,â€ť Kathy said.
â€śAn added plus is that a liquor license is already in place. Thatâ€™s worth a lot. To get a new one is time consuming and costs over $80,000.â€ť
Anyone interested in the purchase of Stanâ€™s Restaurant can call John
or Kathy Chidester at 785-2474 or 681-2474.