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Breakfast omelets, new ownership now at Main Street Caf
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Kerry Smith and Jakkie Arellano have worked side by side since the opening of the Main Street Café. Arellano is now taking over the ownership of the popular coffee and lunch stop. - photo by GLENN KAHL

A breakfast omelet with a choice of three ingredients is probably the biggest significant change with the new ownership at the Main Street Café.

Jakkie Arellano has taken over the reins from Kerry Smith at the popular North Main Street eatery  next to the Casino Real that many feared would close its doors.  It had become a popular coffee clatch spot in the mornings for a number of groups.  Both women know their clientele.

The restaurant owner  had shortened  the days  of operation to only Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, which will continue through this week.  Beginning March 9 it will be open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. and 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Saturdays.
Arellano has managed the café for the last three years since it first opened its doors.  She worked side by side with Smith installing flooring and painting the walls and woodwork.  She said little will change at the café, saying, “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.”

She said Kerry had allowed her to watch and to learn her cooking style without the benefit of recipes – a pinch of this and a cup of that.  Arellano said she plans to have music for her customers on Friday evenings.  Eric Mackenroth is booked at the end of the month.  He is currently performing professionally in Los Angeles.

Arellano said she is also planning to offer pasta style buffet dinners in the future.  She noted that the paper work is going to be new to her, but the café isn’t.  She noted that her sister Melissa Cardoza will be back in the evenings to help her at the café.

Groups that have been regulars at Main Street are Federated Women, Calvary Church men’s group, Wednesday ladies and Thursday ladies and a group every morning from Crossroads Church.  Kerry said they were all “so excited” when it was announced the café would remain open at least three days a week. “Now they’ll be really excited,” she said.

Kerry said she has been trying to wean herself away from the café for the last year in favor of her full time real estate business now in its 21st year.

“It has been a challenge staying in touch with real estate market and the restaurant,” she said.

“I have poured my life into this place – gave it my heart and soul.  The decision should have been made a long time back,” she added.  She said her customers begged at her heart strings to stay open, which is why she first chose reduced days and hours instead of closing completely, and going into catering on the side.

She said she will continue to operate the catering side of her business in the community.

Prior to working at the café, Arellano said she was employed by the Manteca Unified School District as a secretary in the Child Welfare and Attendance office of Clara Schmeidt.  She said most everything she knows about cooking and about the cafe she learned from Kerry.