Murfreesboro's 112-Year-Old City Cafe Seized By State
By Chris Cannon
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - After serving breakfast for 112 years, the City Cafe in Murfreesboro will not be open Thursday morning. The State of Tennessee seized the iconic business for non-payment of taxes.
The restaurant has been on Murfreesboro's town square since 1900 and has a loyal following of customers.
Wednesday morning at 9:00 a.m. officers from the Tennessee Department of Revenue arrived at the City Cafe and shut down the restaurant.
"We were in the middle of breakfast this morning when the officers came in. Kind of caught everybody off guard," according to Randy Smotherman.
He and his wife Belinda eat breakfast at the City Cafe every morning before opening their antique store on the square. They were able to finish their food before the officers made them leave.
"They took over rather quickly, and there wasn't much said," Smotherman remembered.
People who walked by the restaurant on East Main Street were shocked to see the seizure notices posted on the windows.
"I eat here all the time, and it's just a shock to me, really," said Jimmy Mansfield.
Many feel if the City Cafe does not return to the square, a piece of Murfreesboro will be lost.
"It's the oldest consecutive thing on the square. I mean the hardware store over there, I think has been there 60," said Jim Laughlin.
Many of the regular customers are hopeful something can be worked out, and the City Cafe can be saved.
"My best hope is that it will all be resolved, and they'll be open again," Chris Gerbman said.
A spokesman for the Tennessee Department of Revenue would not release any information about the City Cafe seizure.
He did say the owners were given numerous opportunities to resolve the tax situation before officers were sent to the establishment.
The City Cafe has had eight owners over the last 112 years. The current owners purchased the business in 2007.