July 18, 2009 in Washington Voices

Percy’s to close, but owner promises she’ll be back

Juli Wasson
Dan Pelle photo

Patricia Kroetch will close Percy’s Cafe Americana at U-City Mall because her business lost its lease. The restaurant started as The Golden Hour in 1965.
(Full-size photo)

Percy’s Cafe Americana

10512 E. Sprague Ave.

Spokane Valley is losing an iconic family restaurant, but possibly not for long.

Percy’s Cafe Americana, which opened in 1965 as The Golden Hour, will serve its last meal at its U-City Mall location Sunday. The longtime restaurant lost its lease.

“We are really going to miss our guests and our staff who have been like family over the many years,” said restaurant owner Patricia Kroetch.

But she’s already on the lookout for another Valley location.

There will be something next, she said. “I will open another restaurant and open as Percy’s Cafe Americana.”

Kroetch explained she had no intention of closing the restaurant, but said she was told in May that she would have to vacate the property. The news came as a shock to her and many others, including about 38 employees, several of whom have worked there for decades.

“It’s not the way I planned it,” she said. “It was shocking. They gave the lease to someone else.”

The loss comes amid a tough year for Kroetch, whose home was among those destroyed in last year’s Valley View wildfire and whose husband, Greg, died about a month later. She said the restaurant has been operating on a month-to-month lease since her husband’s death.

The more than 9,000-square-foot location has been the site for many regulars over the years, including weekly business and social meetings in a section that seats up to 85 people. Percy’s also catered special events including those at Decades, the nearby banquet facility.

Kroetch has had to call people already scheduled through Percy’s with the news that Decades is no longer available through them.

Her support network has been instrumental with helping her through these life-changing events and continues with the restaurant closure.

“Our customers have been amazingly helpful with ideas and support,” she said, noting that Food Services of America has offered its local kitchen facility so Percy’s catering services can continue. “We have had so much support. Our customers want us to go someplace so they can be with us.”

Percy’s itself was known as a place that brought people together. Like the original Golden Hour, founded and operated in the same location by Kroetch’s father, Percy Howell, the restaurant was a popular place to celebrate anniversaries, family accomplishments and enjoy great food without breaking the bank.

Kroetch and her husband assumed ownership of the restaurant in 1984, which is when they renamed it in honor of her father. The couple had previously operated The Bread Basket restaurant on 29th Avenue in Spokane in the mid-1970s and the second Bread Basket restaurant in Shadle Center in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Are you opening a new business in the Spokane Valley? Is your business expanding, moving or remodeling? Are you wondering about that new store that has opened in your neighborhood? Send an e-mail to Juli Wasson at juliwasson@gmail.com or contact us by fax at 927-2175 or by writing to Business Notebook, Valley Voice, 13208 E. Sprague Ave., Spokane Valley, WA 99216.

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