Tabitha Craig-Robinson, the owner of Tab's Cafe, is ready for her 10 a.m. opening on Saturday. (Photos by Dan Brannan)ALTON - In life, every person has dreams of what they want to achieve. At 10 a.m. this Saturday when Tabitha Craig-Robinson opens the doors of her Tab’s Café at 400 State St. in Alton, it will be “a dream come true.” Tabitha provided a sneak peek of the new restaurant at the State Street location Thursday morning after renovations done by her and her husband, Dan.

Dan Robinson has transformed the old barber shop into a classy cafe. The walls are covered with artwork of everyone from acclaimed singers/musicians Patsy Cline, Miles Davis, B.B. King, Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra, and Ray Charles. Tabitha loves music and is a singer herself. She said after a period of time, she will have bands perform at the cafe and also has plans for a poetry night.

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Tabitha Craig-RobinsonSaturday morning will be an extremely jubilant occasion for Tabitha, her husband, four children, and many friends in the Alton and St. Louis area. One of Tabitha's loves in life is simply watching people eat her great home cooking.

“Food is great for the soul,” she said. “I want people to feel peace and joy when they come into Tab’s Café. I care about serving people and love to see people be happy. Cooking is a great passion of mine.”

Tab’s will definitely be a family business with Tabitha's husband and all of her children assisting in the operation. In the beginning, the business will be open from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday, but will expand to later hours after about a month, she said. She emphasized on Saturday, the doors will be open at 10 a.m.

Tab’s chicken and waffles will likely be a top seller, along with her egg breakfast, biscuits and gravy, and cinnamon rolls. For lunch, she will have chef and caesar salads, double and single burgers, chicken sandwiches, Philly cheesesteak, and more.

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Tabitha will also offer 8-inch pizzas, cheese, pepperoni, and meat lovers. She will have fried chicken combos with 3-piece, 4-piece, and 6-piece wing selections. Shrimp and grits will be another specialty served all day. Tab's spring rolls are made by a person she calls her “spiritual mother” and will be another specialty with sweet and sour sauce.

Tabitha thanked all those who supported her to get to this step. She said members of her church have been extremely supportive. She praised God for her ability to open the restaurant here in Downtown Alton. “The Lord is the one who made it all happen,” she said. “I am so thankful.”

The new restaurant owner said when she stepped foot in Alton, she fell in love with the city. One thing led to another and now she has her special place in the Downtown community.

“Everyone here in Alton has been so nice to me,” she said. Almost as soon as she made that comment, someone rolled down their window near her new cafe and said, “Tabitha, I can’t wait for you to open your restaurant!”

After much thought and preparation, Tab’s Café in Alton comes to life at 10 a.m. on Saturday with her grand opening.

For more information, visit or call 618-796-0260.

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