Old Bull Cafe serving ice cream

Chelsea Rearick (left) and Shannon Smith of Elk County are pictured serving Perry’s ice cream at the Old Bull Cafe in Benezette.

BENEZETTE — A Benezette cafe, nestled in the heart of elk country, has reopened for the season under new ownership, with a new menu and with a love for the community.

Best friends Chelsea Rearick and Shannon Smith of Elk County teamed up to reopen the Old Bull Cafe, “where the herd comes to gather,” at 55 Church Street March 30.

The cafe is a short walk away from the Benezette Hotel, and about a half mile from the Elk Country Visitor Center.

The OBC, started in 2013, is in a renovated 1800s church and previous Benezette community building, the co-owners said.

Rearick grew up hunting and fishing, and has a love for the outdoors and looking for elk antlers.

Both women, who have been friends for about five years, were looking to start a business in the area.

“We get to see the people who come here from different places,” Rearick said. “It’s a laid-back area and great community. We work together to promote each other.”

The second weekend after opening, the OBC served more than 225 guests, the women said.

Rearick and Smith, the in-house cooks, changed the menu, offering items such as the elk burger, homemade mashed potatoes and baked goods like muffins and cookies. Everything is made in-house, including roasted turkey or meatloaf.

“Our goal is to get you in, but get you back outdoors, to see what you came here to see,” Rearick said.

The cafe also offers Perry’s ice cream, a brand from New York, and has a back window area and picnic-table seating for those who want to just grab ice cream and sit out in nature.

The cafe was previously a seasonal business, but will now be open year-round, Rearick and Smith said, with limited hours during certain winter months.

Rearick and Smith also enjoy making jewelry like necklaces and keychains, which are sold at the cafe with T-shirts and other small souvenir items.

“I’m excited to be a part of this with my friend,” Smith said.

Future goals include expanding the restaurant and renovating the dining room, the women said.

“We want people to come in and be comfortable, and we want to be a vital part of the community,” Rearick said.

For more information, call the OBC at 814-787-7545 or visit the Facebook page.

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