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Bill Smith's Cafe in McKinney to close after 66 years

"When we first opened, the city fathers said we were too far out of town to do any business," laughed Bill Smith.

MCKINNEY, Texas — Bill Smith's Cafe in McKinney will close its doors after a good 66-year run. The breakfast and lunch cafe started in 1956 with Bill's father and mother.

Bill has been running the cafe on his own for the last 38 years.

"When we first opened, the city fathers said we were too far out of town to do any business," laughed Smith.

When word got out that the restaurant was closing lots of people wanted to get one last meal. Over the last two weeks the place has been packed for both breakfast and dinner.

"We'll be out here tomorrow," said one patron who has been coming since 1956.

For many people, Bill Smith's is a place where they are reminded of old McKinney. 

"The small town that McKinney used to be," said another patron. 

Bill remembers a time when people would walk to the cafe to get a quick meal.

WFAA met up with Bill last year back when he was struggling to find people to work. The service sector continues to struggle to find labor after the pandemic. 

Bill is not like many other owners you'll see around. He is unapologetically brash when it comes to topics like politics. 

It does not take long to realize what side of the aisle Bill ascribes to when you look at the fliers and stickers and signs hanging up in his cafe.

"If you don't like us, don't come back in," he laughed.

Inside the walls are flush with decor that transports you to 1956: old Coke signs, cigarette ads and so much more. But the cafe sign outside his shop is probably the most iconic. 

WFAA was told the sign will be preserved and moved to another site.

"I've opened up every morning for nearly 50 years. I don't want to tear up right now," he said. Bill will no longer have to wake up at 3 in the morning to get ready for breakfast.

Bill, 83, will now focus on some important medical issues. He told WFAA that his health is the ultimate reason he is having to close. 

He said the building will be torn down in a couple months. On the bright side Bill have a lot more time for fishing and the boat he rarely uses.

Sunday will be the last day for Bill Smith's Cafe.

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