March 8, 2011
Do you dream of opening a restaurant? Here's one for sale

Bee reporter Carlos Alcala has a scary, amusing and sad story in today's paper about a restaurant, a dream and the lousy people who ruined it.

Kevin and Nancy Cairn opened their restaurant, Dante's on the River, seven years ago on a barren stretch of Highway 50 near Pollock Pines. Turns out, the story turns on the absence of a suitable rest stop for miles around. So folks would pull into the restaurant parking lot and do their business right there.

The Cairns put up with it at first, then began to confront the worst offenders and even got into a scuffle or two. Now Kevin Cairns is facing a felony trial, allegedly for assaulting a motorist in the parking lot with, of all things, a traffic cone.

When they opened, the Cairns thought it wouldn't be a problem to allow non-customers to use the restaurant restroom, but they changed that policy in a hurry when motorists abused the privilege.

The Cairns are fed up and are selling the place. From the looks of the photo, it's a nice spot.

So, if you've always wanted to open a restaurant -- and you have a darn good plan for how to deal with the parking lot potty problem -- then you just might be able to stake your claim on a stretch of Highway 50 sorely in need of a rest stop.

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