Dave Colombo considered Friday the 13th a good omen when he opened his Hyannis restaurant in November of 1981.
The Roadhouse Cafe, located at 488 South Street in Hyannis, will celebrate its 35th anniversary on November 13th. Rather than delaying opening his restaurant on Friday the 13th in November of 1981, because of any notion that it would be bad luck, owner Dave Colombo opted to view the date as just another challenge in the notoriously challenging industry.
“As I was getting ready to open the doors leading into the heart of the Cape’s off season, and on a Friday the 13th, everyone was telling me I was nuts,” said Colombo. “But I was confident that if we could make it through a Cape Cod winter, we had a great chance of succeeding over time, and I thought it would be unique to be able to look back and say we conquered any ‘bad luck’ associated with the date,” he added.
Much has changed at the Roadhouse Cafe in its 35 years of operation. What began as an eight-table restaurant – tables Colombo purchased second-hand to save money – serving Italian cuisine, has evolved into a 200-seat eatery offering a menu that ranges from thin-crust pizzas to tuna sashimi to braised short ribs. And what was once a white-linen kind of dining experience is now a more laid-back one, yet one that still that relies on exemplary service and only fresh, high-quality ingredients.
“I think a lot of the reason we’ve thrived for 35 years is a combination of both consistency and a willingness to change things up,” said Colombo. “We’ve continued to offer great food and service since we opened, but have recognized people’s changing tastes,” he said referring to his decision last year to go with a more relaxed overall vibe and offer an expanded selection of appetizers, sandwiches and pizzas.
The Roadhouse Cafe serves dinner seven nights a week, year round, beginning at 4:00 p.m. with an early bird special of $3.00 off any entrée from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. nightly. In the off-season months, the Roadhouse’s Comfort Food menu, featuring hearty house-made dishes such as chicken pot pie and meatloaf, is offered for $16.95.