"We had the winery here so we thought we would start selling bratwurst with our wine," said Frank England, Weingarten Restaurant owner. "We eased into the restaurant, but we got where we would have 100 people go through the place in an evening."
England said that in the past most of the restaurant's customers came from Bella Vista, Ark. When the restaurant reopened last week, England said he was pleasantly surprised to have reservations from many Cassville residents.
"We decided to add steak to our menu because Cassville doesn't have a steak house anymore," said England. "Presently, we are serving U.S. Prime or close to it."
Brenda Wells, who formerly served as Weingarten Restaurant's head chef, has returned to her post at the restaurant.
"That was the reason we closed in 1980," said England. "My cook left town and moved to New Orleans, La. We knew it would be too difficult to replace her."
Weingarten Restaurant will offer a variety of German dishes, steak, a trout entree, shrimp and a chicken entree.
The restaurant will also offer apple streusel and cheesecake desserts.
During the restaurant's early days, England served wine made at the winery located near the eatery. The wine list included four varieties that took home gold medals at the Missouri state competition.
Today, Weingarten Restaurant will serve wine shipped in from Augusta, Texas. The restaurant will also offer German beer.
"We are the only local restaurant that offers German food and steak," said England. "Reservations are not required, but we would love to know you're coming so we can have our wait staff ready."
The restaurant can serve 40 customers. The business also offers an outdoor patio that seats 20 people. The patio area features a fire pit for cool evenings.
England said the restaurant will be open through the first week in November. Hours could be extended through the end of November if customers are interested. In the past, the restaurant closed during the winter months.
Weingarten Restaurant is open from 5 to 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. The restaurant is located at 24568 State Highway 37 north of Washburn.
England and his wife, Elaine, live in Overland Park, Kan., but England will be available to serve wine at the restaurant each weekend.
For more information or to make reservations, call 826-5025.