Eric Sewell and Dani Beck are owners and the only employees at The Bellamy Café in Wartrace. Their July opening held little fanfare. You see, neither have prior experience in food industry, but are committed to building a dream.
It all came to fruition during the pandemic. “We both wanted to open a café for a long time,” says Eric, “and the opportunity arose when we found the location in Wartrace. I have always loved to cook for friends and family.”
Dani loves to bake as well. Her specialty is desserts.
Eric says he believes 2020, for many folks, including themselves, was a time to “re-examine goals and take chances.” It was as well, he adds, a time to put into focus their hopes and dreams for the future.
“So when we saw the beautiful building in Wartrace (originally a post office) we thought there was nothing else for it but to take that leap and give it a go.”
Eric explains how the aesthetics of the building seemed to “check all the boxes” for them, that is, what they had envisioned would be the perfect space for a café and evening music venue. The brick walls, old tin ceiling and just the “generally charming” atmosphere of the place was perfect.
Eric’s prior career was in graphic design and although that was his goal at a much younger age, he found himself unfilled in that line of work.
Now’s there’s an artistic sign and Facebook page to prove dreams do come true.
“Wartrace is really a lovely community, but we didn’t know much about it when we originally started building out the café in April,” he says. “My long-term goal for the café was to have a lively music and art scene. I spent some time building out a stage.”
Their big plans are to make the café/diner like an art gallery, where visitors and return customers can have some really good food, coffee and listen to great music.
The theme . . . to be a place where no matter how many times customers frequent the establishment, there’s always a new experience.
Eric and Dani note how they selected what they thought would be a good sound system for the space. They’ve reserved spots on the wall for visual artists. “I had no idea how many excellent musicians and artists I would have the pleasure to meet in the short time we’ve been open.”
One of those artists is Jerry Fox of Normandy, who has a long-standing presence within the country and gospel music scene. There are also other guitar and banjo pickers joining the night time jams.
“It actually seems crazy to me how much talent is in Wartrace and the surrounding area and we are just happy to be a part of it. The surrounding shops are great and the business owners are all really great folks with unique wares. It’s just a really special and unique community,” notes Eric.
The best gravy in town?
The lunch menu at The Bellamy Café, located at 104 Main Street East in Wartrace, is currently designed to be short and sweet. The owners say what makes it special is all fresh options.
“We plan on adding to it over time,” says Eric, “but we’d much rather have a short menu, where everything is done really well than a lot of options that don’t really leave an impression on our guests . . . .”
The most popular item in the café? Eric says that has to be their “Smashburgers.” “I put quite a bit of thought into them and the ingredients, bun and toppings, and I think it has paid off and really set them apart from other burgers.”
Other menu items include grilled sourdough sandwiches which have been popular. As well, their “Walking Man” sandwich (eggs, bacon and cheese) are just as popular.
Don’t forget those fresh cut fries.
“I do try out specialty items here and there which I post on our Facebook page when we have them (while supplies last.) We never have any left to take home, sadly,” Eric says with a laugh.
Other items like Shepherd’s Pie and San Marzano Beef with Marinara Spaghetti have customers coming back for more, he advises. That makes these diner owners quite happy and naturally keeps them busy.
Dani makes a variety of specialty cupcakes and all other kinds of desserts like brownies and Strudel.
Also on Sundays, The Bellamy Café offers a traditional breakfast menu—complete with homemade gravy which Eric says many have complimented as the best they’ve ever eaten.
“Our coffees, teas and even ice is all made with water that’s gone through an advanced filtration system as I truly believe this makes for better coffee and tea. You won’t be drinking tap water here.”
Food and music—a great combination for The Bellamy Café, judging by the sold out events.
The couple’s long-term goal for the café is simple. “We would really like to expand our breakfast to other days but will require hiring a few employees. Hopefully, [we] will be able to do this in short time. Ultimately, I would love to be able to record the music that is played here. That is a definite goal and hopefully, we will become, over time, a real destination spot . . . .”
Visit The Bellamy Café on Facebook.com/thebellamycafe or call 931-389-3821. There’s an open mic night on Wednesdays. Check it out!