Umatilla’s Combat Cafe, which has become a staple in the community for its extensive veteran memorabilia, military-themed dishes and veteran fundraising initiatives, closed their doors permanently on Sunday.
Owned by Bruce and Beth Chambers, the restaurant had been struggling for some time. Last year, when they had announced they would be closing, the community came together and helped them stay open. One donor even paid for a month’s rent and many locals said they would visit more often to see that veterans had a great place to go for breakfast and lunch.
An official reason for the close has not been announced, other than that their lease is up and they would not be renewing it. Bruce’s Facebook announcement gave us a little more insight on what we can expect to see from them next. It read:
“Last day of operations at CC2 will be tomorrow 4/30/2023. Our lease is up after 3 solid years in Umatilla Fl. The landlord, who we respect in all regards has been great to us and helped us with our Mission from the start. We have decided it’s in our best interest to go mobile and expand our Mission in many different ways. This time around we’ll have wheels and an anchor.
I was sad about it but then thought about it for a while and then thought and prayed some more about it all. I believe we were here for 5 years so far for a reason. Definitely looking forward to the mystery of a future that’s in store. We definitely couldn’t have made it this far without a little help from our friends and family.
Out of anything I’ve ever learned, Never Give Up, is a must to live by. Even in the darkest of days, there’s still a pin prick of light. Somewhere if you look for it. Light will always destroy darkness.
I wish the best for anyone out there who cares enough to care.
So we haven’t seen the last of Bruce and Beth. Look for a mobile version coming in the near future. But one thing’s for sure, Combat Cafe will be missed.