MADISON — For those who don’t know, the City of Madison was once called Madison Station and it grew up around the Madison Train Depot. Sitting alongside the train tracks that still sees two trains per day, in the 1950s the building held the original City Hall and a two-cell jail.
Tony and Cindy Sensenberger renovated the depot building in 2000 and opened what has become one of Madison’s favorite lunch spots – the Main Street Café. They added a kitchen and outdoor dining area. The jail cells? Private dining rooms!
“From day one when I came here in September, some of the very first questions I got was ‘When are you guys going to open for dinner?’” said co-owner Tammy Hall. She and her husband John bought into the Main Street Café last October. “We finally got the logistics worked out and we are thankful for everyone who helped us take this journey.
Main Street Café is known for its lunch menu of salads, sandwiches, and quiche, as well as yummy chicken, pork, and fish entrees, and even an Italian flair. The new evening menu will reprise some of the lunch entrée favorites but will also feature steaks and fresh recipes for fish and pasta.
The café is also famous for its strawberry pretzel salad, which mixes layers of sweet and salty into a concoction suitable more for dessert than a salad.
“With the expansion of downtown Madison, the new Avenue Madison, the baseball team and all the people it will draw into downtown, the city wants a vibrant downtown nightlife,” said Hall. “Expanding our hours to include dinner is part of the agreement.”
At the ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday, Madison Mayor Paul Finley applauded the Main Street Café owners for their vision of downtown.
“Thank you for making the Main Street Café a place people can enjoy both day and night,” he said.
The new hours are 5-8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday and 5-9 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Reservations for parties of more than five people are accepted, too.