2299 N. Washington St. Forrest City, Arkansas 72335
We look forward to serving you.
Tom and Marina
The Ole Sawmill Cafe's roots run deep in the food service business. The Family first got its start when the founder, Matriarch Liberty Bell, known as Lib, started selling hamburgers for a nickel in a street car named The Street Car Cafe, in 1939.
Lib was a very tough business lady. When forced to raise prices because of meat shortages during the war she went up to 7 cents. When faced with many customer complaints she quickly put down the revolt by raising the price on up to a dime. There were no more complaints after that!
With money sent back by her husband, Tommy, from overseas, she expanded the operation by adding a railroad dining car to each end of the original street car. In the late Fifty's Tommy bought a barber shop in Forrest City and Lib rented a spot in the same building and opened The Liberty Bell Cafe. Known for good wholesome food at a reasonable price the place was always busy.
Several times she sold the cafe to employees who thought they could run the business but she would end up having to take it back. She would then simply run an ad in the paper with this statement "I'm back" Lib Stewmon. Then everyone would know that the Liberty Bell was once again the place to get a good meal.
When the interstate came through Arkansas, Miss Lib collaborated with her son's brother-in-law Gene, a New York trained chef, in a new operation also named the Liberty Bell. It was there under the tutelage of Gene that her grandson Tom, the current owner, first got grease in his veins. After a few years Lib sold the business and retired, but Tom never got the food business out of his blood. After college he worked in various areas of the food and beverage business honing his skills.
Some years later, when the old Liberty Bell that he had worked in as a young boy came up for sale, Tom, along with his parents Bill and Sara, bought it. With hard work by everyone and the Stewmon reputation they were able to rebuild the business now known as the Ole Sawmill.
After five years the opportunity came to move to a new larger location in Forrest City. Ten years later the Ole Sawmill Cafe is still going strong. Home Style Southern Cookin, Fast Friendly Service, and a Family atmosphere has made the Ole Sawmill Cafe the dining destination for loyal customers from all over the United States whenever they are in the area.