NEW CARLISLE — Decades of home cooking came to an end Friday at a restaurant many locals have been visiting as far back as they can remember.
Miller’s Home Café, which opened its doors at 110 E. Michigan St. in downtown almost 58 years ago, closed after one last day open. Owner George Miller said he’d been trending toward retirement when the recent closure of U.S. 20 east of town, the main artery through here, dealt a final blow.
“We were kind of hurting a little bit anyway,” Miller said. “Then when that was closed for three months it killed us.”
That scheduled 30-day road construction project began in early May, but hit a snag in June because of a dispute between the Indiana Department of Transportation and the Norfolk Southern Railroad, which owns the right of way for the viaduct over U.S. 20 near downtown. With the roadway already torn up, construction was delayed several weeks. The road didn’t reopen until the end of July.
During that stretch, some business owners in New Carlisle said sales dropped by more than 50 percent because of the road closure.
“I’ll be honest with you,” Miller said. “It hurt a lot of the businesses in town.”