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FORT WORTH, Texas -- Gas stations and gourmet food may not seem like a perfect match, but a Conoco gas station in Watauga, Texas, put the idea to the test and it has paid off for the past eight years. Now, the owners are hoping to build on their success by expanding their business.
Owners Franson and Paula Nwaez opened the Chef Pointe Café at the Conoco station in 2003. The unlikely pairing of gourmet food and gas came after the husband-and-wife team discovered they were more likely to get financing to open a gas station than a restaurant. Once they found a filling station under construction that came up for sale, they jumped at the opportunity.
Now eight years after opening its doors, Chef Point Café's popularity has pushed the owners to double the cafe's capacity. The expanded business, which officials reopened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Nov. 15, grew from seating for 75 guests at 15 tables to a restaurant that can accommodate up to 160 people.
Staff will be able to cater on-site, allowing for rehearsal dinners, graduation celebrations, corporate meetings, family reunions and more to be booked in an elite party area. In addition to the expanded seating, the owners added a full-service bar.
The restaurant's menu includes such non-traditional gas station fare as stuffed New York strip, rack of lamb, stuffed mushroom caps and bread pudding.
The grand re-opening was also marked by a Ladies Night on Nov. 15, and a Wine and Dine event on Nov. 17. The proceeds of both events benefited the Joplin Tomorrow Fund.