Who would have thought you could open a new restaurant and not tell anyone? When Tom & Janet Scheffer and their daughter Sybill opened Sybill’s Saint James Restaurant in May 2006 they never advertised their opening. It was the blessing of a reputation for good food and attention to detail that preceded them to St. James and made the first year fly by. The Scheffer family has quite a history with restaurants.
Starting in 1959 with Tom’s mom and dad, Loretta and Zeno Scheffer. They opened Zeno’s, a popular Rolla restaurant that would be in the family for nearly half a century – 20 years with Tom’s parents, and 25 years under the ownership of Tom and Janet. In 2001 Tom and Janet retired and sold Zeno’s looking forward to some R&R.
Retirement was short lived. When Janet stumbled upon the Dillon property on Hwy 68 in St. James, she knew right away that the 100-year-old farmhouse would be the perfect place to house her beautiful antique and gift store. The old home was transformed into what is now a place to shop for a multitude of unique gifts and home accessories. The idea of a restaurant on the site was the result of the many shoppers who knew Tom and Janet's knack for food and service and who wanted to know when they would renew their love of the restaurant business.
With plenty of room behind the gift shop to build, Tom, Janet and Sybill began a project that some would call crazy. Construction began in August 2005 on the modern Southern plantation-style home with a floor plan befitting a restaurant. And in May 2006 the doors opened…very very quietly.
Then the real work began. A daily commitment to carry out what Zeno and Loretta started is what keeps the restaurant going. It is because of them that the Scheffer’s have an immense love for the restaurant business in their hearts.