COBWEB CORNERS: Miss Patty’s cafe

By Mel McFarland

       In the 1880s and 1890s, the south side of Colorado Avenue was not a spot for a lady. There were no businesses run by ladies, even on the north side, until about a hundred years ago. These few mainly catered to ladies' needs and apparel. However, most businesses were owned by men. Beauty shops were in the back of barber shops, for example. The exception to this was a lone shop beyond present day 26th Street, known as Miss Patty's.
       It was basically a cafe, but you could find some interesting people in it through the day. It was about the size of a living room, with a bit of a kitchen in the back. It had been operated by a wonderful lady by the name of Myrna, but the nature of the clientele was too much for her. Patty at first took control, and after a short time she met her hero. He shared many of her interests, and he had a business down in the center of town, on the proper side of the street. Patty and her husband lived in back of the cafe, across the railroad down by the creek, in an old log cabin. If you would walk into Patty's, you might find any number of the town's ladies gathered around a table having tea and cookies and a lively conversation.
       The people on the north side of Colorado did not associate much with the residents along Cucharras (I have already told that story), except at Patty's. Some of the ladies might not realize who might be having a chat at the next table. Today, Bon Ton's is an interesting gathering place for little groups of regulars who meet for breakfast or lunch; Patty's was that place over a century ago. There was something else going on too. It was a place a lady could get a bit of extra in her tea. No signs give this away, but it was something every regular customer knew!
       Oh and Patty's husband, he raised pigs. Down along the creek you might find a dozen or more oinkers. To the couple, these were pets. You might even find one cute one, cleaned up with a ribbon, at the cafe. Unfortunately in the 1890s, it is said Patty and Harry rounded up their pigs and moved to the wilds of Nebraska - the secrets of the Ladies Club having become known.