ALTON - Tab’s Cafe seems to be a new business destined for success in the Downtown Alton area.

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Tabitha CraigTab’s will open soon at 400 State St. in Alton, in a building that was previously a barber shop and shoe store. Tabitha Craig plans to bring life to the establishment that has sat vacant for a period of time. Tabitha recently spoke about her new venture at a What's Up Downtown segment at the Riverbender Building in Downtown Alton.

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Tabitha said it has been her dream to have her own restaurant since she was a young girl.

“My husband was in the military police in Hagerstown, Maryland, that is how we met,” she said. “When we came back to where he was in the St. Louis area, we started going to church in Alton and just fell in love with it. I really wanted to open a restaurant. I just give glory and praise to God that I love feeding people.”

Tabitha grew up in a small town in West Virginia and said Alton reminds her of her original home.

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Tabitha then laughed and said, “I am sort of obsessed with watching people eat.

Ever since my mother was working and taking care of us when I was young, I had to learn how to cook and babysit my siblings,” she said. “My mother taught me everything in the kitchen from cooking smothered pork chops, gravy with biscuits from scratch, chipped beef, fried potatoes, and a lot of good home cooking.

“When I started going to church, I invited 20-30 people to my home and fed them all. I have a passion for cooking and it is a love of mine to serve others. I love caring for people.”

Philly Steak and Cheese will be a big ticket item at Tab’s Cafe, along with other East Coast style offerings from French Fries, Chicken Phillies, chicken kabobs, steak, shrimp, salads, wraps and later she will serve waffles all day long.

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“We will also serve grits and possibly a little gumbo later, but we don’t want to compete with the new gumbo place,” Tabitha said. “We also will have other All-American food from a cheeseburger, double cheeseburgers, and even triple cheeseburgers. For breakfast, we will do breakfast sandwiches (bacon and egg and cheese and sausage egg and cheese), along with bakery fresh cinnamon rolls and much more.”

Her plans for hours are 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Tabitha hopes to have the new restaurant open in later August, possibly by August 20.

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