For sale: One herd of cows (ceramic, plywood, fabric, paint, etc.). Comes with a supply of warm, gooey cinnamon rolls and a classic cafe.
After 25 years, Jeanne Mae Barwick is retiring from Mae’s Phinney Ridge Cafe in Seattle’s Greenwood neighborhood. She’s put the place up for sale, and threatens to close it in March or April if an appropriate buyer isn’t found.
There’s been a cafe at this location since the 1920s. But when Barwick took it over in 1988, she transformed it from a neighborhood destination into a city institution.
Michael Stern at Roadfood.com describes it as “a multi-room cafe decorated everywhere with pictures, statues, blow-up dolls and every sort of nick-nack imaginable, all depicting cows (an ode to the proprietor’s Wisconsin roots).”
On weekend mornings, it can take as long as an hour to get seated. Besides the cinnamon rolls (baked in-house), it offers large portions of your basic American breakfast and lunch fare, plus such specialties as trout and eggs.
It closes at 3 p.m. daily; in offering the business for sale, Barwick notes a new owner could make more money by opening for dinner and offering alcohol.
In an email sent to customers, Barwick says she may hold an “open house and garage sale” at the cafe in March. Depending on what items a new owner may want to keep, the sale could include the cafe’s cow-shaped salt and pepper shakers “and other miscellaneous moo-morabilia.”
Barwick also says she’ll continue to host her popular “Karaoke Bingo” once a month at the Greenwood Senior Center.