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Ephrata eatery Bright’s opens all over again following prolonged-time employee buys iconic restaurant from first owner | Regional News

Additional than two months considering the fact that closing, Bright’s Restaurant in Ephrata is back.

The well-known Ephrata dining location shut Oct. 31, leaving let down consumers lamenting the decline of some of their favorite Bright’s menu items, these as broasted hen, newborn again ribs, cole slaw, fries and crimson velvet cheesecake.

Extended-time Bright’s personnel Beverly Mellinger is accountable for bringing again Bright’s, which reopened Wednesday. Following Bright’s shut — when earlier cafe operators John and Eric Brilliant retired from the business — Mellinger claimed she was heartbroken. She experienced labored there for eight several years, handling almost everything from ready tables to cooking foodstuff to baking treats.

“That was a tough working day. I was kind of in shock,” Mellinger mentioned.

Her shock turned into a feeling of purpose. Knowing that Bright’s had been an Ephrata establishment for 55 decades, Mellinger commenced to think about reopening the cafe. She resolved to get hold of Bright’s owner, John Dazzling Sr., to ask if he would consider permitting her to regulate the cafe he experienced commenced again in 1966.

Dazzling Sr. wasn’t intrigued in owning her deal with it. He needed her to lease the creating that he nonetheless owns at 1025 S. State St., Ephrata. As an alternative of getting the manager, Mellinger would be the new owner of Bright’s. She swiftly agreed.

“I realized that Bright’s was a verified achievement, and I experienced been listening to from so a lot of individuals that they needed it to reopen. A ton of folks ended up rather devastated when it closed. I knew the prospects would be back again,” Mellinger reported.

She commenced by rehiring seven previous workers. Then she established out to do a little redecorating. The very first factor to go had been the curtains she mentioned she’d never appreciated. The location was pretty brown and tan, so she additional some new colour.

Most anything else will stay the exact, she assures customers.

John Bright Sr. could not be more pleased. He sons, John Jr. and Eric, had been leasing the cafe from their father for about 10 a long time, when Vivid Sr. was included in working the other Vibrant organization, a 3-acre home with storage models driving the cafe.

Restaurant’s historical past

Bright’s opened in 1966 as a push-in eating place that includes pizza and sandwiches. Later on it was renovated into a 100-seat family members cafe that provided an outdoor included deck. The broasted chicken turned its declare to fame.

Dazzling Sr. experienced invested most of his everyday living in the cafe small business, performing with his father, Edward Dazzling, at the Sugar Bowl in Millersville and the former Ed’s Diner in Ephrata. When he and Mellinger agreed to continue to keep Bright’s going, he was grateful.

“I am fully thrilled,” Bright Sr. said, including that he knew Mellinger was the best human being to carry on the custom. “She’s a terrific worker and is aware all about the cafe. I have every single self esteem in her.”

Mellinger reported she is psyched to give Bright’s Cafe a new get started. She experienced worked at Bright’s comprehensive time for 6 a long time and component time for two many years. She did all the baking and cooked on the line with Eric Bright.

“I beloved doing the job at Bright’s,” Mellinger claimed. “Between the team and the customers, it actually felt like an additional family members. John Sr. has been such a blessing through this reopening course of action.”

Mellinger ideas to maintain most of the menu items. She would like to run each day specials, soups, desserts, and make Bright’s even far more loved ones friendly. She went to college with 1 of the homeowners of Pour Man’s Brewing Co. in Ephrata and reported she options to include beer-battered fish and beer cheese to the menu. She’ll make other changes as time goes on, she mentioned.

She also options to keep the several hours the very same, which are 7 days a 7 days, from 5:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., with breakfast served to 11 a.m.

Carryout is a major part of Bright’s good results and what Mellinger factors to as vital to the restaurant’s pandemic survival.

“That stored us likely,” explained Mellinger. “And now I hope to preserve Bright’s going. It’s an Ephrata custom.”