Opening the Chatterbox

new talkative cafe is ready to serve and chat a bit

Zach Schultz, photos by Luong Huynh

CHATTY GAL. Lynn Bednar is the owner and “head Chatterbox” at her new cafe on Hastings Way in Eau Claire. She said she wants the cafe to foster conversation and good eats.
CHATTY GAL. Lynn Bednar (below) is the owner and “head Chatterbox” at her new cafe on Hastings Way in Eau Claire. She said she wants the cafe to foster conversation and good eats.

There are few things more characteristically Midwestern than chattering with friends, neighbors, acquaintances, or (if you’re in my family) anyone in hearing range. That’s the vibe a new local restaurant, Lynn’s Chatterbox Café, is going for at 1410 South Hastings Way (the former home of Chicken Unlimited and Delish Cuisine).

“I love visiting with people and getting to know them and their life stories. Maybe I will only chat with them once or maybe we will be daily chatting pals.” – Lynn Bednar, owner

Lynn Bednar, a Minnesota native who moved to the Chippewa Valley in 2008, developed a passion to own a café since she was in junior high school; after getting her first waitressing job at age 13, she fell in love with it.

“I love visiting with people and getting to know them and their life stories. Maybe I will only get to chat with them once or maybe we will be daily chatting pals. … I love having the opportunity to get to know people, and owning a café allows that opportunity in a big way.”

The name of her new restaurant, which will feature home-style cooking from scratch and a down-to-earth vibe, isn’t all that surprising given Bednar’s admission that she was “THAT kid” whose parents offered them money to stop talking for five minutes – money she never managed to walk away with.

If it seems like locals will be stepping into Lake Wobegon and Garrison Keillor’s frequent mentions of the fictional town’s “Chatterbox Café” on the weekly public radio show A Prairie Home Companion, you wouldn’t be that far off.

Lynn Bednar
Lynn Bednar

The café, Bednar says, is “something you would expect to see in a small Midwestern community. I was raised in small-town Minnesota, and that is the feel you can expect to get here from me, just your little ‘Ma and Pa’ type shop. Come in often and expect me to get to know your name and your ‘usual.’ Heck, maybe you will even have ‘your spot’ in the place.”

Bednar strives for an open location and has “always really liked small eating establishments that offer you the ability to see the cooks,” she said. “I think what is unique here is that you are able to actually see everything as it is happening. The kitchen is wide open for the public to view.”

Lynn’s Chatterbox Café – which was slated to open Monday, July 20 – offers tables, booths, and counter seating to choose from (“in case you wanted to add peanut butter to your toast and forgot to tell your waitress – go ahead and yell that back to the cook”), the café aims to appeal to anyone and everyone in the community.

With a time-honored, family-tested menu and the ability of Lynn and her other servers (affectionately known as “Chatterboxes”) to chat with all ages, it seems like the kind of place that could quickly become a family favorite.

To learn more, search for Lynn’s Chatterbox Café on Facebook.

Press and hold the up/down arrows to scroll.