Frankston’s Windmill Cafè on the Square offers a lot more than good country cookin’ – though it is its specialty. Since opening in September, the cafè serves hundreds of meals each week to locals and travelers hungry for a taste of home.
The fare is a welcome alternative to Frankston’s other restaurants like Pepita’s Mexican Kitchen, Milano’s Pizza, Subway, and Dairy Queen, and fills a void left by the town’s former country restaurants, Country Kettle, 7-B Restaurant, and Charlie’s Barbecue.
The venture seems a perfect fit for co-owners Paul and Linda Streck, who have experience in construction and restaurant management. A former regional manager for Kentucky Fried Chicken, Linda had Paul’s complete confidence in her ability to manage the venture.
“My wife is a really good cook,” Paul said. “She’s the brains behind the business.”
The couple took a chance on opening the restaurant during the pandemic, purchasing the former Charlie’s Barbecue and learning the barbecue business from its previous owner, Charlie Rhodes. Paul Streck said opening the cafè during the pandemic seemed like a poor idea at first, but found the timing was just right.
“The Country Kettle closed, and we opened just two weeks later,” Paul said.
On furlough from an oilfield job in Midland from April to July, Paul decided there was no better time to put his construction skills to work building the restaurant. Paul attributes the cafè’s success to the talent of its cooks, including Frieda Allen, formerly of the Country Kettle, and Tanya Putman and her daughter Miranda Martin.
Open seven days a week, Windmill offers a full-service breakfast from 6 to 11 a.m. then lunch and dinner until 8 p.m., Monday through Saturday. The cafè closes early at 3 p.m. Sundays.
Lunch and dinner include a variety of daily specials such as meatloaf, catfish, chicken spaghetti, King Ranch chicken casserole, or chicken and dumplings. Diners can also select from dozens of menu or cafeteria line items, including hamburgers, sandwiches, salads, baked potatoes, or barbecue off a chopping block.
The cafè welcomes diners with a rustic vibe that includes authentic brick walls, cozy seating, and a quaint view of the historic town square.
The town square features the Frankston Depot Library, a museum, a new playground, plus other businesses and boutiques that draw visitors to stroll and shop the square. Atwood Hat Company, Atwood Candle Factory, Silver Moon Saddle & Tack Shop, and a carpentry shop that sells handmade cedar furniture are other popular attractions that allow diners to walk off a full belly while visiting.
Most patrons are from tiny Frankston, population 1,250, or the surrounding area, which includes northern Anderson County and the sprawling Lake Palestine area. However, word about Windmill’s food is spreading and attracting visitors from as far as Colorado and California.
A prominent location with visibility from Highway 155 and a vibrant Facebook page are also drawing new visitors. Facebook reviews are mostly positive, with 4.7 patrons out of 5 recommending the cafè.
“I had ham, dressing, and green beans today! It was delicious!” said Jennifer Sturm in a Facebook review. “I highly recommend you stop in for some great food and atmosphere.”
Donald Ray Parker also posted a positive review on social media.
“First trip there today and was totally impressed and pleased,” he said. “The atmosphere is very cozy and country, with comfortable seating… The food and the wait staff were awesome.”
Windmill Cafè offers curbside service and plans to offer delivery in the near future. For information, call 903-876-9000.