A Place of her own: Bartender turned business owner serves up homestyle cooking at new diner
Jane Sutton’s gone solo, but she has plenty of help near and dear to her heart on her new adventure.
After 13 years tending bar a few doors west at Corner Tap, Sutton now has her own place, Jane’s Place, at 110 W. Second St.
Cooking and good food have long been a staple in the Sutton family, and Jane had long had the idea of opening a restaurant of her own. When she found a vacant storefront close by to her, she seized the opportunity.
“One day I just said ‘I’m going to do it,’” Jane said. “I can do this. We can make this work. We’ve made it work, and we’re going to make it successful.”
Although the restaurant has Jane’s name on it, her family is involved in it just as much. She does most of the cooking, and her husband, Dale, and sons, Al and Dale Jr., also work there, along with Jane’s friend, Deb Orlowski.
Operating the place as a family has helped things run smoothly, with few issues or surprises, Al said.
“We know how each other all are, so it’s pretty easy to work things out real quick,” he said. “We don’t have to worry about anything festering us, we’ll get it done and over with right away.”
Some recipes have been in the family for generations, and are among the many specials offered on a rotating basis. One of them, spaghetti, is made the way Jane’s father, Harry “Chub” Collier, made it.
“He was a great cook,” Jane said. “About anything and everything he would cook, spaghetti, and sauce; everything was from scratch,” she said – and it’s worth the wait. “The longer it cooks, the better.”
Jane’s Place also has a bar; it was the first part of the restaurant to open Dec. 21. The grill opened 5 days later, and the grill hours expanded 2 weeks ago as more people were eager to try something different.
Some of the specials are themed, such as Gravy Thursdays, with plates featuring a gravy burger or a meat loaf smothered in gravy, with vegetables as a side. Fridays and Sundays feature Mexican dishes, such as tacos, tostadas and loaded nachos.
Otherwise, the main menu ranges from burgers to pizza, shrimp, BLTs and hot dogs.
Jane’s Place is spacious, and “homely,” she said.
“We’re here to please,” Jane said, “and we’re doing it.”