All good things must come to an end…
After 45 years of standing at the corner of Clay and Vandalia, the Bert’s Chuckwagon we all know and love will no longer be standing. The quirky little A-frame that looks more like a summer lake home and is the color of an old barn will be no more. It will be relegated to the memories of the many people who grew up or grew old visiting the restaurant throughout the years. The many stories I have been told as the time grows short have been of joy. After school visits, first dates, the first place to which a parent would let the kid ride their bike…they go on and on. There have been so many old customers coming by for one last time, many of them realizing they actually needed a few “last times” to make it stick. There have been those who have driven by for years without stopping deciding to finally make their first and last visit. I have been involved with this place off and on for 43 years. I met my wife here; I raised my kids here. I have laughed with the many people who have worked for me, and the many customers who have come through the door time and time again. I have watched kids grow into adults and seen them eventually bring in their own children. Where has all the time gone?
Will I miss the old place? Yes.
Will I enjoy the new place? Yes.
Eventually, the new Bert’s will feel like home to me, but it is you, the people who keep coming to eat and talk and be, that will truly give it life. Seeing a child’s face light up for an ice cream cone or an icee and overhearing someone start to tell someone with them a story about the old Bert’s is what will keep this thing going. It will take some time getting used to, but we believe there are still greater things ahead. We hope you make the journey with us; it would not be the same without you.
Thank you so very much for your years of support. There are not too many little places like this left, and we would have closed shop many years ago were it not for you. We never forget that, and we will never stop being thankful for it. We will make some new memories together in September. Can’t wait to see you there.