Country Cookin’ Café is ready for business in its new location.
Country Cookin’ has been in the capable hands of Rogelio Coronado for 11 years at its location on Fifth Street across from the Standing Bear Trail Head. On Monday, Coronado cooked his last meals at the old location and opened up shop in the Eighth Street building that was once home to Aunt Mary’s Center on Tuesday morning.
Coronado purchased the building at an auction back in August of last year and has been working on the transition ever since.
The new space is a lot bigger than the old location, which means it can fit more customers. That’s good news, Coronado said, because they’ve been busy. Their parking lot has been full and hungry patrons have been parking across the street to get their favorites like the farmer's omelet, the hot beef or the western omelet.
“A lot of regulars,” Coronado said. “Most of them are my customers from the other place. They've been coming around here. There's some people who have been waiting for the opening.”
They’ve seen a lot of new faces, too, he said. Their old location was tucked around the corner where Fifth and Perkins streets meet, but now, Country Cookin' is in a fairly high traffic location, right near downtown along Court Street.
There’s still some work to do, Coronado said. The old coin-operated pool tables will be going out and they’ll be doing some work on the extra space in the back and upstairs, but he said he’s excited about having space for people to rent out.
“It's going to be an area for private parties,” he said regarding the back room. “Events, small banquets. Even upstairs. We can have all kind of events.”
Coronado said he doesn’t miss the old place, but even though they’re in a new building, he said there are some traditions they’re keeping.
The menu is the same, he said. They’ll still be whipping up breakfast and lunches like they did at the old location, although they’re open from 6 a.m. until 2 p.m. on weekdays now.
Plus, Coronado said the whole staff came with him during the transition.
“Everybody,” he said. “We moved all together. All the workers are here, cooks and everybody.”
The new Country Cookin’ Café is located at 111 S. Eighth St. in Beatrice and is open from 6 in the morning until 2 p.m. Monday through Friday, then from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday and 6:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Sundays.
Beatrice Public Schools is looking for the public’s input regarding a master plan for its facilities.
Pat Phelan of DLR Group has been working to put together a blanket plan for the district that covers everything from the school buildings to storage sheds.
He presented an updated version of the plan to the School Board during Thursday’s committee of the whole meeting, and said the next step is asking for input from the public.
“Now we’re ready to really engage with the community and let them be a part of this process,” he said.
The plan includes any updates or maintenance to the school’s bus barn and maintenance buildings, though Phelan said the educational side of the plan is a key piece.
“That really is the most important piece in my opinion, and I’m sure the board members would agree,” he said. “We need to understand the educational aspects of all the facilities. What I mean by that is how are the facilities being used? Are the spaces that those classes are being taught in either enhancing the educational experience or hindering that experience? That’s where your staff and administrative team comes into play for us, to understand those program issues.
“By going through this process, hopefully what we’re going to be able to do is give you a comprehensive view of the condition, both physically and programmatically of your buildings.”
Phelan previously evaluated the elementary school buildings ahead of two failed bond issues that would have allowed the district to build a consolidated elementary school near the high school in east Beatrice.
The four elementary buildings were again addressed Thursday evening. Phelan said many of the issues with the buildings stem from being spread out through the community, rather than square footage.
“We also look at how we’re using the space and is the space being utilized effectively,” he said. “Are there ways that maybe we can better utilize the space by making it more multipurpose, then is there duplication of space?
"That was one of the things, when we were looking at the elementary schools, (that) was very evident. With four elementary schools, you have a lot of duplication of spaces… Every one of those buildings, the space is inadequate. When you add them all together, that’s a nice size space. Unfortunately, they’re scattered throughout your community. Even though you have that space, it’s not really adequate.”
Superintendent Pat Nauroth said it’s important for the district officials to reach out to the public for additional input before finalizing the master plan.
“We’re at a point where our next step is, we don’t have anything set in stone, for community input to help us proceed,” he said. “When this is all said and done, the facility master plan should be our road map for years down the road to how we’re going to proceed as a district.”