Staff Writer

PAULDING – Past Time Cafe is all but ready to reopen. The local favorite diner will open its doors again Monday, Sept. 16 at 6 a.m.

Until then, owner Mike Iler, his wife Marcy, and their Past Time employees are giving the cafe its annual mid-summer cleaning that the closing delayed.

But before the Past Time Cafe opens again for business, Iler has list a of people he wants to thank, including, the village administrator, Dale Goebel, the solicitor, Harvey D. Hyman, Carol Sanford, Paulding County Health Department environmental director, the village council and the entire community for their show of support.

Iler closed the cafe in June after cockroaches were discovered in the back of the restaurant.

When Iler determined the infestation had spread from the wall the cafe shares with the neighboring building, he and more than 30 members of the community packed the village council meeting in early July to voice their support for the cafe and the passage of an ordinance to deal with the infestation.

Today, the Past Time Cafe is as spotless as ever.

“It’s been an interesting summer to say the least,” Iler said. “I never knew how much people cared,” Iler said. “Everywhere I went it was, ‘thoughts and prayers.’”

The community's support for the cafe did not stop at packing out the village council meeting or showing their support on the cafe’s Facebook page.

The cafe’s closing caught the attention of the members of the First Presbyterian Church of Paulding, who donated Chief Markets gift cards to the furloughed employees.

Pastor Ian Ferguson, a regular at Past Time Cafe, said the idea to donate the gift cards came after more than a few members, who were regulars at the cafe, mentioned they were disappointed it had closed.

“We want to be a church that shows God’s love to the community and the people in it,” Ferguson said.

Iler was emotional when speaking about the loyalty of his employees, all of who are returning to their jobs on Monday.

“I would like to thank them for being patient with me and for volunteering their time to help me get this place up and running.”

Despite the eventful summer, Iler said it was a blessing to be able to spend more time with Marcy and his family over the summer, particularly his eldest daughter who left to attend a Toledo University, before she joins the Navy.

“I do what the restaurant makes me do,” Iler said. “Sure, I can say, Friday, I want to leave at two o’clock because the family and I want to go something Friday evening, and I want to be out of here earlier, but we get so busy, I can’t leave. You don’t run a restaurant, the restaurant runs you.”

Iler is eager to reopen. He says Marcy is planning to bring six homemade pies for the re-opening.

Iler said he will not be surprised to see some regulars, who he calls “the morning guys” show up even earlier, as they always do, to start making the cafe’s coffee and teas.