Central City Cafe celebrates 20 years in Huntington
HUNTINGTON — A proud member of Huntington’s antique district, Central City Cafe celebrated its 20th anniversary earlier this year with a birthday party on April 3.
The cafe was established in 1993 by its owner David Luther, who runs the restaurant to this day with his wife Sherry. In 2008, the restaurant was profiled in an episode of Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives.”
“My family was in the restaurant business when I grew up,” Sherry Luther said. “My husband David had worked on the railroads and had to retire because of an injury. Before he worked on the railroad he worked catering at a hotel in Columbus. It was too early to retire so we decided this would be a great thing that would keep the family all together.”
The restaurant started small, with only five or six tables and a three or four items on the menu, but it eventually grew, Sherry Luther said.
“We then later expanded about 12 or 13 to include the dining area next year,” she said. “There have been some tough times with the economy but we’re hanging on. We still get customers from the Food Network show. There was a motorcycle run through town on Memorial Day weekend and a group of about 10 people from California stopped in because they’ve seen us on the show.”
Central City Cafe continues to offer a selection of hot and cold lunch and dinner plates. For $10.49 customers can enjoy a plate special such as Home Style Meatloaf, Baked Steak or Open-Faced Roast Beef with two sides and a choice of roll or cornbread. Sandwiches include the famous “Whatta Burger” ($8.99) topped with two types of cheese, mushrooms, bacon, lettuce, tomatoes, and onion. Customers can also enjoy a Meatloaf Sandwich ($8.49), Grilled Cheese ($4.75), or a Turkey Burger ($7.69.) The restaurant also has different desserts available daily including homemade apple and cherry pies. ($3.25).
“We have a true family restaurant. My husband, myself, my children and even my grandchildren work here,” Sherry Luther said. “We have great service and what I think to be great food. We still make everything from scratch here. I’m making steak gravy right now and we have big juicy burgers.”
Fitting in with the antique district quite well the Central City Cafe has an impressive collection of memorabilia. This ranges from images of Marshall memorabilia, to newspaper headlines related to West Huntington, to photos of the manufacturing district in the late 1800s, to some comics from Ceredo based writer (and regular customer) Beau Smith. Customers are frequently donating new items to the antique collection.
“We just got two great pieces of memorabilia,” Sherry Luther said. “One is a poster from a movie called ‘Teen-Age Strangler,’ which was filmed in Huntington in 1964. It was given a big screen premiere at the Keith-Albee theater in 1994. Someone also gave us a poster for a magician named ‘The Great Jarvis’ who used to put on shows in the area. A relative of his brought in the poster. We also have a great poster of the Veterans Memorial Field House when it was brand new.”
Central City cafe is located at 529 14th St. W. in Huntington. It is open from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday. It is closed on Sundays. Cash and all major credit/debit cards are accepted. For carry-out orders and more information call 304-522-6142.
Central City Cafe
TYPE OF FOOD: American
ADDRESS: 529 14th St. W., Huntington.
PHONE NUMBER: 304-522-6142
PAYMENTS ACCEPTED: cash and all major credit cards
HOURS: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Closed Sundays.