Former Bowlus Motel now an outdoor eating area and future cyclist shower facility
By Terry Lehrke, News Editor
For five years, Jordie Stay and her daughter, Sonya, have owned Jordie’s Trailside Cafe in Bowlus, a former bar.
Offering homemade foods and a catering service, the two have worked to make their outdoor area as comfortable as the inside, adding a garden area filled with flowers and greenery, seating areas throughout the garden, and a rock waterfall centerpiece.
The walkways are made of yellow brick, manufactured in Bowlus 100 years ago. Several bricks are stamped with the name of the city “Bowlus.”
Tuesday, another addition on the southwest side of the cafe, was dedicated with a blessing and a meal served to guests — “Sontie’s Pavilion” — a name with a family story behind it.
Sonya said when her brother Tony and his wife came to visit from Florida, she wanted to greet their son, her nephew, and instead of saying “Come to Auntie Sonya,” she mixed her words and said “Sontie,” which stuck.
Formerly the Buckman Motel built in 1907, the building then became a home for a family with five children, which just so happened to be the home of a friend of Jordie’s. Jordie grew up in Santiago, near Foley.
The second floor was removed, a roof put on, and the walls taken out for the most part, to make it an outdoor gathering area.
Not only that, but when the bathroom and showers are complete, cross country cyclists will be invited to use the showers. They will also be welcome to pitch a tent and spend the night in the gardens if they wish.
When asking where a person can sit, Sonya says, “Sit anywhere, we’re all family.”
As guests gathered and live music was offered by Lisa Linn, Bob Trinklein, pastor of Shepherd of the Pines Church in Rice, consecrated the pavilion at Jordie’s request.
Five years ago, when the bar was remodeled into a cafe, the building and business were blessed as well.
“Truly, we wouldn’t still be here without that (the blessing),” Jordie said.
The pastor led all present in the consecration prayers and songs and Jordie and Sonya used olive oil to consecrate the beams to the entrance of the pavilion.
“We rejoice that Father God has made it possible for Jordie and Sonya to find a suitable place to operate their cafe and to be able to expand to have this beautiful pavilion,” the pastor prayed with the group. “Let us, with them, now dedicate this place to be used to honor you, Lord.”
“God continues to put things on our plate,” said Jordie. “Catering jobs that come out of the blue; he continues to bring things that keep us prosperous and pay our bills.”