Background/Overview: Keith and Trista Hardwick own The Half Day Cafe in Urbana. He was born in southern Indiana and she was born in Convoy, Ohio. They met at a Logan County church, have been married for 23 years, and have four growing children. She is a human resources recruiter and he's been in the restaurant business since his young adulthood.
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Keith Hardwick, the owner of The Half Day Cafe, cooks a burger on the grill. BILL LACKEY/STAFF
Hardwick started his restaurant career as the general manager of Vintage Inn in West Liberty. As a couple, they owned Tiger’s Den and Fat Boy’s pizzerias in Logan County before buying Don’s Diner in that vicinity. They held the diner for seven years, and then wanted to sell it so he could be home with his family in the evenings.
This building in Urbana, within a mile or so of the railroad tracks on the edge of town, was an old Our Hero Sub Shop. The Hardwicks purchased it and remodeled it to form a 30-seat breakfast and lunch cafe.
The Half Day Cafe opened Jan. 1 of this year.
The specialties are daily-made biscuits and gravy, handcrafted omelettes, hand-cut fries, homemade macaroni salad, and housemade sauces. The Hardwicks focus on “Buying local and making everything fresh!”
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The Breakfast Bowl at The Half Day Cafe. BILL LACKEY/STAFF
Beverages: Hemisphere Special Ethiopian Blend Coffee — $1.99; Hot Cocoa — $1.99; Woodruff Farms Premium White, or Chocolate Milk — $1.99; Pepsi products — $1.99; Sweet/Unsweet Tea — $1.99; Orange Juice — $2.49.
Breakfast Entrees (6 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.): Breakfast Croissant (build-your-own) — $4.99; Homemade Biscuit w/Sausage Gravy — $4.99; Breakfast Melt (sourdough bread) — $4.99; Two Eggs w/Toast — $3.59; Two Eggs w/Meat & Toast — $5.49; Hot Stack of Pancakes (two) — $5.49; French Toast (challah bread)-$5.99; Two Eggs w/Meat, Home fries, & Toast — $6.99; Breakfast Trio (pancake, eggs, & meat) — $6.99; Breakfast Bowl — $7.99; Chopped Steak Breakfast (8-ounce) — $9.99.
Breakfast Omelettes (6 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.): Cheese Omelette — $5.99; Country Omelette, Greek Omelette, “The Carnivore” Omelette, “The Mex” Omelette, Veggie Omelette, or Western Omelette — $7.99.
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A sign on the wall at The Half Day Cafe. BILL LACKEY/STAFF
Burgers (10:45 a.m. to close): Hamburger Deluxe — $5.99; Cheeseburger Deluxe — $6.99; BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger — $7.49; “Fire In Your Hole Burger” — $7.49; Bacon & Bleu Burger — $7.99; Double-Cheeseburger — $7.99; Jalapeno Popper Burger — $7.99; Pizza Burger — $7.99; “The Rocky Balboa” — $7.99; Mushroom & Swiss Burger — $8.99; PB & Jellousy Burger —$8.99; “The Bonnie Melt” — $9.99; “The Chunky Dunk” — $9.99; Double Fried-Mac-And-Jack-Heart-Attack — $10.99; “The McCurley” — $10.99.
Sandwiches (10:45 a.m. to close): BLT — $4.99; Chicken Salad Croissant — $6.49; Gyro — $6.99; Texas Tenderloin — $6.99; Triple-Stacked Grilled Cheese — $6.99; Cafe Club (Triple-Stacked) — $7.49; Philly Cheesesteak — $7.99; Reuben — $9.99.
Sauces/Spreads (include): Housemade Bleu Cheese Sauce; Housemade Jalapeno Popper Spread; Housemade Horseradish Sauce.
Sides: Homemade Biscuit, or Toast — $1.99; Side of Gravy — $2.50; Applesauce — $1.99; Hand-cut French Fries — $1.99; Cottage Cheese — $2.39; Homemade Macaroni Salad — $2.39; Onion Rings — $2.99; “The Hot Mess” (Hand-cut French Fries topped w/cheddar cheese, crispy bacon, & drizzled w/housemade ranch dressing!) — $4.49; Deep Fried Mozzarella Sticks — $4.99; Deep Fried Portabello Mushrooms — $6.99.
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The dining room at The Half Day Cafe. BILL LACKEY/STAFF
Tuesday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Saturday, 6 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Half Day Cafe sources locally for its beef and chocolate milk from Woodruff Farms in Champaign County, for its bread from Klosterman’s Bakery in Ohio, for its pork products from Caven’s Meats Inc. in Conover, and for its syrup from the Boyd family in West Liberty. A tablet on a wall of The Half Day Cafe reads, “Eat, Drink, And Be Thankful.”
Look for local restaurant profiles by Glenn and Kim Creyts every other week in “Life.” For inquiries regarding this column, and “Restaurant Profile” ideas and suggestions for future columns, please contact Glenn and Kim via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Half Day Cafe on North Main Street in Urbana. BILL LACKEY/STAFF