FRANKSTON, Texas (KETK) — Another restaurant in East Texas has closed its doors, blaming the labor shortage and record inflation. As community members pulled up to the Windmill Café on Tuesday afternoon, they were saddened to see the downtown staple with its doors permanently closed.

“I would tell everyone that came in that the meatloaf was amazing. It was kind of known to have Monday meatloaf. I would also make sure that they did the onion rings, and I would go on and on… get the hot shot potato or the chicken salad. Everything was just good!” said the Owner of Burnt Bunz, Kelly Smith.  

Smith shares that she was shocked to learn the news after the owners took to Facebook. Letting their customers know they were shutting down due to high food costs.

“This time of the day would be busy down here where local people or those from all over come to try her restaurant and then would walk around and shop with us. We met people literally from everywhere. Dallas, Corsicana… you name it,” said Smith.

Windmill Café was known for its joyous, family-style environment. The restaurant attracted many visitors. Many customers drove by throughout the day, devastated at the closure signs.

Ultimately, Windmill Café owners’ Facebook statement said labor shortages and high food costs were their downfall.

Customers say the good prices, food and top-quality customer service were what kept them coming back.

“Well, the prices now I feel are ridiculous! $32 for a meal is just ridiculous. It’s just outrageous! It’s crazy, you know. We’re just trying to figure out what’s going to survive, hopefully, something will survive here,” said a daily customer, Ronald Nolan.

The café was known to bring customers from all over the country. Now, with their doors closed for good, citizens are concerned it could affect Frankston’s downtown revenue.

“We were shocked. Heartbroken is what I’ve read. That is how a lot of us feel. It’s going to change the whole downtown environment because people travel here to eat her food. Therefore, it helps all of us out. It’s kind of a fear of Frankston Square not staying as popular and as busy as it has become,” said Smith.

This should be a reminder to East Texans to support small businesses in their towns.

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