PORT ANGELES — Granny’s Cafe and the adjoining Indian Valley Motel — an iconic stop for locals and tourists who had just spent a fun-filled day at Crescent or Sutherland lakes — is now up for sale.
The landmark property west of Port Angeles is home to Troy and Angela Tamas, their 3-month-old son Louie and Angela’s mother, Carol Roszatycki, who together own the 3-acre property and operate the two businesses.
Troy and Angela Tamas said they know they are about to let go of something special, but are excited to see what the property could become if the right person purchases the property, which JACE Real Estate Company listed Saturday night for $795,000.
The property at 235471 U.S. Highway 101 has nearly a dozen buildings, including private residences, the motel, sheds and the cafe.
Troy Tamas, who often is on ice-cream-cone duty, described Granny’s Cafe as a well-oiled machine that runs itself.
“With all of the tradition and the amount of support the community has given us throughout the decades, you just have to turn on the open sign and get that ice cream cranking,” he said. “It just runs itself.”
He said on the average day Granny’s Cafe sells about 300 cones, but when the weather is great on a Sunday, the line stretches to the highway and he easily goes through more than 1,000 cones.
Angela Tamas said the business is filled with happy memories of working alongside her late father, Louis “Terry” Roszatycki.
He was killed last year while crossing U.S. Highway 101, shortly before she found out she was pregnant with her son Louie.
At the end of long shifts of selling more than a 1,000 cones and after serving full dining rooms, he was always there to have a beer with and talk about how great of a day it was, they said.
That’s part of the reason it’s time to move on, she said.
She said Granny’s Cafe was his dream and to operate it has been both joyful and heartbreaking as they see his handwriting throughout the restaurant and his guitar in the corner.
“He’s in every facet of this place,” she said. “It would be nice to let this be a happy memory instead of a sad one. I want to change our story from a sad one to a happy one and I think the best way to do that is to start fresh somewhere.”
She hopes someone will buy the property and improve the businesses beyond what has already been done.
When that happens, she wants to bring her son, Louie, and show him his grandfather’s legacy.
“Now we can take Louie here someday and say ‘this is what your grandpa did,’ ” she said.
Granny’s Cafe is currently operated as a seasonal business with homemade meals, fresh baked pies, and some of the coldest beer on the Peninsula, said Eileen Schmitz, who owns JACE Real Estate Company. She said the property is ideally positioned for expansion including being zoned for six additional camping sites.
As the Indian Valley Drive-In, it was opened in 1956 by Earl and Albert Tundall, who sold it to Marion Raef — Granny — in the 1970s.
Although the original name remains on the adjacent motel, local folks’ nickname for the restaurant became official.
Though Raef was known to her customers as Granny, Carol Roszatycki became the first grandmother to live on the property after her grandson Louie was born earlier this year.
Louie and Carol Roszatycki bought it in 1999, raising three children there and rebuilding after part of the motel burned in 2010.
Schmitz said the sale is unusual in that it includes private residences, real estate and two businesses. She said the right buyer will be someone who is willing to put in the work to make the businesses successful and that that person may not be from the area.
“I think we would all love for someone local to swoop in, pick this up and take it on, but I think if someone comes from the outside we will know they chose Granny’s and they chose the Olympic Peninsula for the quality of life,” she said.
The property features six motel rooms, laundry room, inn-keepers quarters, separate house, petting zoo, detached private restrooms, workshops, petting zoo, and garden areas.
Right now the motel has mostly been word of mouth. Though it has usually stayed busy, Schmitz said advertising the rooms online would be an easy way to attract more business.
The property includes rights to surface water, which are shared with a neighbor, something Schmitz said is rare. She said having that water right creates a good opportunity for growing some food onsite that could be used in the cafe.
Untapped potential includes off-season catering, corporate retreats, year-round cafe and greater use of bar area and banquet facility, she said.
To reach JACE contact the Port Angele soffice at 1234 E. Front St., or 360-452-1210 or the Sequim office at 761 N. Sequim Ave., or 360-683-8627.
Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at [email protected].