Thursday, October 4, 2012

Shenanigans Closing This Sunday

Shenanigans is closing on Sunday, Oct. 7, after it serves lunch for the last time under the ownership and management of Shelley and Ward Cammack. 

Cammack said the restaurant is for sale.

“We have a number of employees who want to go to work at other places,” Cammack said on Oct. 2.

“This is a good opportunity for them to move on, and we didn’t want to hinder that.”

He said they would not have the staff to keep the restaurant open after Sunday.

“We’ve accomplished what we set out to do,” he said. “When we bought Shenanigans, we had a set of objectives to turn the business around and have accomplished those: structural improvements, information systems, reduce overhead and variable costs such as food and payroll. Having completed the tasks, it’s time for us to step back.”

Cammack said that he and Shelley and their family are not leaving Sewanee. “We’ll be taking some time off,” he said. “These last two years have been very hectic.”

A number of people have contacted the Cammacks about purchasing the restaurant.

“We hope it will reopen soon, but that will depend on the next owner,” he said.
The Cammacks bought Shenanigans in December 2010 and opened it in January 2011 with a revised menu.

Samuel Hoge built the building in 1872, to be used as a general store. In its long and varied past, the building has been a roller skating rink, a laundry facility for the ROTC during WWII, a shoe shop, a tin shop, and a wagon repair shop. Most people remember Winn’s General Store as the last business before Shenanigans opened.

Shenanigans began as a deli, cheese and coffee shop in September 1974 with the original owners, Richard Riddell and Merissa Tobler. Tom Brown was the next owner, who added the grill to the restaurant, and offered such items as hand-tossed pizzas and hand-patted burgers. The third owners, Todd and Katherine Kaderabek, added sandwiches such as the Cool Cucumber, the Skinny Bob’s Meat Melt and the Vegi Muffaletta. They also began the cooperative Shenanigans Gallery. Britt and Teresa Brantley were the fourth owners of the restaurant, and opened CafĂ© Arcadia Coffeehouse in the back of the restaurant. The fifth owners, Kiki and Ben Beavers, added new sandwiches, soups and salads to the menu. They also began the process of straightening the building, tearing out three walls and adding supports and a new foundation to stabilize the building.

—Reported by Laura Willis

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