Platte River Restaurant
03/01/2007 - Larry Cage, along with his partner Shelley Fox, opened the Platte River Restaurant in May 2000. When they bought the building, they knew they had their work cut out for them. Before they could even think about opening their doors, they'd have to get dirty from their boots to their bandanas, scrubbing and polishing from the rafters to the floors. It took 6 people working 12 hours a day, 6 days a week for 6 weeks to turn it into the kind of restaurant they wanted it to be.
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Larry says, "Our goals were to have a clean restaurant, quality food, good portions, and a good service staff."
For those who have lived in Casper for a while, you might remember that the Platte River Restaurant is in the same building that once housed Denny's on East "E," next to Interstate 25.
A transplant from Montana, Larry has worked in the restaurant business for 40 years. He has lived in the populated cities of southern California and the not-so-populated cities of Montana. In 1987 he moved to Casper and worked for three different restaurants in town before striking out on his own.
"I learned a lot from the people I worked for over the
years," Larry says.
Larry's mentors must have taught him well because the Platte River Restaurant has grown steadily over the past 7 years.
"And we're just a little... well, I don't know if I'd call us a mom-and-pop operation, but we are a locally-owned restaurant competing with national chains."
Larry credits much of the restaurant's success to his outstanding employees. Some have worked there for three or four years which is quite a lengthy term of service in the restaurant business.
"I'm thankful for their loyalty. After all, as they say, you're only as strong as your weakest link."
His talented and loyal employees provide a good core for training the new employees that are hired. This allows the restaurant to consistently provide quality service and food.
One of the challenges Larry faces is keeping his wages competitive in this tough, oil-field-driven labor market. His goal is to reward his employees with the highest wages he can afford while still keeping prices reasonable for his customers.
Why did Larry choose Casper for his home and his
restaurant business? He likes Casper. "It's not too big or too small. The crime rate's low. A good place to raise kids."
Open daily from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., the Platte River Restaurant offers delicious homemade food with generous helpings. Its small-town, family-friendly atmosphere is enhanced by the smiling faces of those who serve the plates and pour the coffee.
There was a time when Larry could occasionally go fishing. But there's no time now. Maybe it's enough, for the time being, that the restaurant's decor boasts beautifully mounted trout and other Rocky Mountain fishing treasures as well as sportsman-oriented paintings and decor. And maybe it helps assuage Larry's fisherman longings to have the restaurant boast the name of another Casper treasure, the Great Platte River that curls through our town.