At just 22 years old, Theresa Crouse is taking on the challenge of running her own restaurant.
Crouse’s Cafe, at 660 Philadelphia St. in Indiana, opened Monday.
The restaurant is open for breakfast and lunch, with its specialty being breakfast, Crouse said.
“We’re really good at breakfast,” she said. “That’s what we want to get going.”
Crouse recently graduated from Coastal Carolina University in South Carolina. Before attending the university, she had worked in various positions at other restaurants her parents own, including Crouse’s Diner in Lower Burrell and Theresa’s Royle Allegheny in Kittanning, which is a restaurant and lounge.
[PHOTO: Theresa Crouse and her father, John, worked in the kitchen of Crouse’s Cafe, which opened last week. Photo by Jamie Empfield.]
The family, she said, has been in the restaurant industry since 1976. As business owners, they’ve owned Theresa’s Royle Allegheny the longest, having started the restaurant and lounge about 10 years ago.
In school, Crouse studied economics and management — degrees that would help her get a head start in her career as a business owner.
For now, her father, John, is helping her get the business started. He’s currently helping out at the restaurant as a cook while the business searches for cooks and servers. They’re accepting applications for both positions.
The menu features classic breakfast items, such as a dish offering bacon, eggs and toast, as well as some originals such as the Cafe Mess — eggs, home fries and sausage fried together and then topped with sausage gravy, and The Royal Breakfast — two eggs, home fries, ham, bacon or sausage, toast and a pancake.
If combinations aren’t your thing, Crouse’s has a full menu including pancakes, waffles, breakfast wraps, a la carte items and more.
Breakfast and lunch can be ordered at any time. The lunch menu features classic diner-style items such as BLT and other deli sandwiches, soups, hamburgers, and hot sandwiches and melts. Crouse’s also offers a variety of salads.
In addition, the restaurant offers new specials daily, and different kinds of homemade pies and soups.
The decision to start the place began when the family was looking to open a third location.
“We saw that it was for rent (the building on Philadelphia Street) and we were looking for another location,” Crouse said.
“I know there’s a lot of businesses (in Indiana), so hopefully we can get (their customers) to come in, get some locals, some college students.”
The restaurant is a good fit for Crouse — she said it fits her lifestyle.
“I get to meet a lot of people,” she said. “I like the business part of it too … you make your own hours, make your own decisions.”
The restaurant is open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. According to CrousesCafe.com, online ordering is something that will be offered in the future.