DuBOIS — The Gateway Cafe building on Maple Avenue has served as a bar and restaurant in the DuBois area for nearly a century.
George Moore and Donna Spillane, who took over The Gateway in 2017, said the building dates back to the 1800s. It was known as the Airport Bar and Grill in the 1930s, when the DuBois Airport was located in town, and became The Gateway Cafe around 1960 when the airport moved to its current Falls Creek location.
The restaurant has had several owners, including Al and Carol Rafferty, who owned it for around 17 years, Moore said. The building was expanded in the ‘80s, and now has 120 seats. It was updated with new kitchen equipment, a new roof, air conditioning, plumbing and exterior work.
Spillane worked in healthcare marketing in Pittsburgh for 30 years. Moore, who was owner of the Ski Lodge in Treasure Lake, said many of those customers, as well as Treasure Lake tourists, now visit The Gateway. Longtime employees like Carol Yount, who has worked for Moore for 18 years, followed him there, too. The longevity of employees comes from “treating people like family,” he adds.
The restaurant offers seasonal menu changes and regular items like salads and steaks, as well as comfort foods like hot roast beef. The bar area displays a television slideshow of historical photos, specials and customers enjoying Gateway activities.
The interior of the building is home to historical pieces on the walls, such as a 1947 Soapbox Derby Courier Express article, a DuBois Area High School football team photo from the ‘40s and a wall dedicated to the old DuBois Brewery.
A 98-year-old man recently celebrated his birthday there, and could remember it many years ago. Some who come in have had their own table for years, Moore said.
The Gateway welcomes local and national music acts, also offering different activities like trivia and karaoke in a family-friendly atmosphere. Its focus is serving dishes made with local, fresh ingredients, such as Beaver Meadow Creamery butter and apple dumplings from Luthersburg.
The Gateway now offers “ a free burger on your birthday” with proof of identification.