You might say Michael Oxbrough is gathering steam.
The Georgetown café owner is interested in renting the former train station on Railroad Street, near Town Hall in Millsboro, and transforming the Town-owned building into a second establishment called Café on the Tracks.
Possibly opening this summer, it would offer freshly ground coffee, pastries, sandwiches and salads.
At the Millsboro Town Council meeting on Monday, June 1, Town Manager Sheldon Hudson praised the idea as something “greatly needed in Millsboro.”
Oxbrough told the council he had been in the restaurant business for years. During the past 16 years, he’s been vice president of a credit card company, but when he recently won $250,000 in the lottery, he decided to get back into food and beverage operations. A few months ago, he opened Café on the Circle in Georgetown. He buys meats from the Family Butcher Shop in Dagsboro and only sells coffee from local roasting companies.
The Millsboro location, he said, is “fantastic,” and the building will only need a few changes, since he wants to maintain its simplicity.
Councilman Tim Hodges asked what he will need from the Town, and Oxbrough said possibly assistance getting a grease trap installed and help with cosmetic upgrades.
Hudson asked him to meet with town officials to discuss the monthly rental fee and said the matter will again be discussed at the July 6 town council meeting.
The approximately 1,000-square-foot building, where a train passes twice daily on nearby tracks, usually with coal cars, is currently rented by the Town to a firearms enterprise that offers classes once or twice a month. Hudson said that tenant could find space in the Millsboro Town Center.
“It is definitely something I am interested in,” Oxbrough told the Coastal Point.
“I have always liked the location. It definitely is a niche that needs to be filled. This is not a diner. It’s like what a lot of people grew up on when they were kids — a place to go and sit down and grab a quick sandwich and a cup of local coffee,” he said.
With 22 years of experience in the restaurant businesses, Oxbrough, who lives in Dagsboro, said he has been drawn to the idea of a café near the railroad tracks for years, especially since the one in Millsboro has “a great location, great traffic pattern; there is easy on and off, and you’re not getting stuck with chicken trucks.”
“I have a lot of clientele in that area, a lot of friends I know that are looking for something like this. Diners are always good. I think diner food is fantastic, but I am very focused on a small, localized menu,” he said.
Menu selections would be similar to those offered at the Georgetown café and include sausage-link sandwiches, breakfast selections, freshly baked pastries, barbecue with variety of sauces and coffees including organic hemp coffee.
“We make our own salads — shrimp salad, tuna salad, egg salad. We have hotdogs, mixed berry salads, parfaits,” he said.
“I give a nice portion,” said Oxbrough, 50, who hasn’t yet determined how many seats the Millsboro café would have.
The little café in Georgetown is about half the size of the Millsboro building, at 530 square feet, and only has a few bar stools and a booth, plus outdoor seating.
“I would probably put tables outside, a few inside. It wouldn’t take much to open. I would have to change a few things, but nothing structurally. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but esthetically pleasing.
“You can sit there. You can have a cup of coffee. You can politic. You can do whatever you want.”