Yes, the rumor is true! After over 15 years of success in a corner of the outlet mall in the Village of Oak Creek, the Marketplace Café is officially under new ownership. You will not see any dramatic changes in what is happening at MPC because the new owner, Ken Rouse, says “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.”
Ken has been one of Michele Moore’s fans for about 17 years -- since the time she started out with a coffee kiosk in the parking lot of the outlet mall. Over the years, he has witnessed her success and been one of her loyal customers.
Although Ken was an investor and managing partner in a restaurant and 10-bedroom lodge on Buffalo Mountain near Dillon, Colo., in the early 1980s, he had never been intimately involved in the restaurant business.
Owning Marketplace Café was definitely not on his radar screen. When the opportunity arose, he jumped on it.
On April 19, Ken, who lives in the Village of Oak Creek on the Sedona Golf Resort, officially became the owner of Marketplace Café (MPC). For the public, the transition to new ownership will be seamless. Virtually all of the current staff will continue to be employed and the same menu and rewards program will be in place.
Sharon Marosek, who has been a key MPC employee for over 12 years is now the general manager. The assistant manager is Nikki Averitt, who brings to the team extensive knowledge and experience in the restaurant business. She has already demonstrated her ability to manage the front end (dining and bar area) and coordinate customer services with the back end (kitchen.) Remember Dee Shelley? She’s back! Jeff says she came back to razz him about the Oregon Ducks beating up on the Wisconsin Badgers in the Rose Bowl. Ken Rouse says she and Duff McCampbell will make a dynamic duo at the bar.
For some time there has been a Hollywood Theme at the Marketplace Café, with music and entertainment, such as the Mystery Night Event in cooperation with Canyon Moon Theater. In addition to the great food prepared by an experienced chef and served by a friendly wait staff, customers have enjoyed an atmosphere in which “exciting and fun things are always happening.”
Special entertainment has been provided by musicians such as LeAnne Leman, Gary Regina, Eric Williams, Robin Miller and other locals.
In addition, Latigo and other bands from throughout Arizona have made it a point to show up at MPC to provide customers an opportunity to listen to great music and kick up their heels on the dance floor.
Marketplace Café will continue to welcome these entertainers as well as promote special events in cooperation with Canyon Moon Theater, Cliff Castle Casino and other community organizations and businesses. Marketplace Café is a place where locals “hang out.” and it will continue to do so.
Every evening, there are friendly faces gathered around the bar exchanging conversation with each other, be they locals, tourists or newcomers to Sedona. Drink specials and a great Tapas menu make the hours from 4 to 7 pm a very popular time. Recently MPC began hosting Farm Fresh Saturdays, where produce and other organically grown and healthy products are offered for sale outside its doors every Saturday 9:30-2 pm. Plans are being made for a “pay by the pound” lunch buffet that will compliment a wide range of choices already available at lunch time
The hours for Marketplace Café are 11:00 am until 9:00 pm, Sunday through Thursday and 11:00 am until 10:00 pm on Friday and Saturday. Check out menus and happenings on the website mpcsedona.com or call 928-284-5478. The Dunnery wishes our tennis buddy, Ken Rouse, and his staff much success.
To Your Health and Happiness
Jeff and Suzie at the Dunnery