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Lamplight Cafe closes after six months

BONNE TERRE – The Lamplight Cafe has quietly closed after only six months of being in business.

The Lamplight Cafe opened in the former Lamplight Inn Lounge building on April 1 and closed at the end of October.

Pastor Royce LaMarr of the Christian Fellowship Church had hoped the cafe would help support the church’s Lamplight Center, which was designed for seniors, 50 and older.

&#8220Due to the fiscal climate of the state of Missouri, and the reduction in state services for seniors and low-income families, we wanted to provide a center that was not dependent upon revenue from the state and food grants,” LaMarr explained.

He said they lost a key leader in the cafe project when the food service manager became extremely ill for several months.

&#8220The result is that we continued to support the Cafe and brought new help in, but the cash flow drain and demands upon my time in addition to my other responsibilities took a toll and caused us to reevaluate our direction,” LaMarr said.

&#8220The decision was to close the Cafe, that was requiring all our focus and resources but was not the primary focus of the vision, and to focus our attention and resources on developing the real goal, the Lamplight Center.”

He said the Lamplight Center is still open. Currently, a mid-week Bible study meets on Wednesday evenings and a Promise Keepers Men’s group meets on Thursday evenings.

He said they are currently exploring new ways to fund the center to reach the &#8220shut-ins and seniors who need community and purpose restored in their lives.”

&#8220We are making the Lamplight Center the main focus once again,” LaMarr said. &#8220As we achieve success and stability in this direction, we will reconsider making the Cafe a community cafe open to all.”

When the center opened in April, LaMarr said the center’s mission was to be a non-profit membership corporation which provided services to the senior population in the area.

He said they specifically wanted to help seniors without transportation. The church has vans and a shuttlebus to transport them to and from the center for meals and activities.

LaMarr got the idea from his grandmother’s town of Metropolis, Ill., where they had a place for seniors called Happy Hearts.

They hoped to provide senior activities in the form of Bingo, bridge, guest speakers, music, Bible study, and health fairs.

The church remodeled the entire building.

The building has new tiles, ceiling, heating and cooling systems. The fireplace in the Fireside Room was changed to a gas fireplace.

The original business, the Lamplight Inn Lounge, a family-run business, opened as a drive-in in 1966. In addition, the lounge featured a pizza room for young people to congregate after school and a tea room for local artists to show off their artwork. The fireside room was opened in 1980 and served gourmet food. The family-owned and operated business closed in 1991.

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