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Photos: Gallery | Colorado Springs Gazette, News

Rush Cafe's big send-off before closing

The Rush Cafe, a community staple east of Colorado Springs, is closing after 59 years, and for the final Thursday all-you-can-eat dinner the room was packed full, on Thursday, February 22, 2018. Willis and Sherie Kelly took over the restaurant 32 years ago from Sherie's parents, who took it over from Sherie's Uncle and Aunt.

James Cole hugs waitress Andrea Nimeth as he says goodbye to a table of longtime visitors to the Rush Caveat the final all-you-can-eat dinner before the cafe closes, in Rush, Colorado Wednesday, February 21, 2018. The cafe, opened in 1959, served as a community hub for people to meet, and make new, friends.(Nadav Soroker, The Gazette)

James Cole hugs waitress Andrea Nimeth as he says goodbye to a table of longtime visitors to the Rush Cafe the final all-you-can-eat dinner before the cafe closes, in Rush, Colorado Thursday, February 22, 2018. The cafe, opened in 1959, served as a community hub for people to meet, and make new, friends. (Nadav Soroker, The Gazette)

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Norma Hoover brings Avery Payne back to her parents after talking to Robert Payne, Avery's great-grandfather, at the final all-you-can-eat dinner at the Rush Cafe before it closes, in Rush, Colorado on Wednesday, February 21, 2018. Avery Payne, a fifth generation resident of Rush, visited many tables at the final all-you-can-eat night before the longtime community hub closes.(Nadav Soroker, The Gazette)
Norma Hoover brings Avery Payne back to her parents after talking to Robert Payne, Avery's great-grandfather, at the final all-you-can-eat dinner at the Rush Cafe before it closes, in Rush, Colorado on Thursday, February 22, 2018. Avery Payne, a fifth generation resident of Rush, visited many tables at the final all-you-can-eat night before the longtime community hub closes. (Nadav Soroker, The Gazette)

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The Rush Cafe at the corner of Rush Rd. and CO-94 is the only spot in town to grab a bite to eat and meet friends, and after 59 years of operation Willis and Sherie Kelly had a packed house for their final all-you-can-eat dinner before they close in Rush, Colorado Wednesday, February 21, 2018.(Nadav Soroker, The Gazette)
The Rush Cafe at the corner of Rush Rd. and CO-94 is the only spot in town to grab a bite to eat and meet friends, and after 59 years of operation Willis and Sherie Kelly had a packed house for their final all-you-can-eat dinner before they close in Rush, Colorado Thursday, February 22, 2018. (Nadav Soroker, The Gazette)

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An old photo of the Rush Cafe after an expansion hangs on the wall of the cafe in Rush, Colorado Wednesday, February 21, 2018.(Nadav Soroker, The Gazette)
An old photo of the Rush Cafe after an expansion hangs on the wall of the cafe in Rush, Colorado Thursday, February 22, 2018. (Nadav Soroker, The Gazette)

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The sun sets down CO-94 as the Rush Cafe hosts its last all-you-can-eat dinner before it closes in Rush, Colorado Wednesday, February 21, 2018. The cafe, opened in 1959 by Woody and Betty Thieman, is closing after 59 years.(Nadav Soroker, The Gazette)
The sun sets down CO-94 as the Rush Cafe hosts its last all-you-can-eat dinner before it closes in Rush, Colorado Thursday, February 22, 2018. The cafe, opened in 1959 by Woody and Betty Thieman, is closing after 59 years. (Nadav Soroker, The Gazette)

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Sherie and Willis Kelly serve up dinner for themselves at their final all-you-can-eat dinner at the Rush Cafe before they close in Rush, Colorado Wednesday, February 21, 2018. The Kelly's grabbed a table to eat at and were quickly joined by friends.(Nadav Soroker, The Gazette)
Sherie and Willis Kelly serve up dinner for themselves at their final all-you-can-eat dinner at the Rush Cafe before they close in Rush, Colorado Thursday, February 22, 2018. The Kelly's grabbed a table to eat at and were quickly joined by friends. (Nadav Soroker, The Gazette)

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The sun sets down CO-94 as the Rush Cafe hosts its last all-you-can-eat dinner before it closes in Rush, Colorado Wednesday, February 21, 2018. The cafe, opened in 1959 by Woody and Betty Thieman, is closing after 59 years.(Nadav Soroker, The Gazette)
The sun sets down CO-94 as the Rush Cafe hosts its last all-you-can-eat dinner before it closes in Rush, Colorado Thursday, February 22, 2018. The cafe, opened in 1959 by Woody and Betty Thieman, is closing after 59 years. (Nadav Soroker, The Gazette)

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James Cole, left, laughs with Philip Cable at the final all-you-can-eat dinner at the Rush Cafe before they close in Rush, Colorado Wednesday, February 21, 2018.Diners frequently got up from their seats to cross the room and say hello to friends.(Nadav Soroker, The Gazette)
James Cole, left, laughs with Philip Cable at the final all-you-can-eat dinner at the Rush Cafe before they close in Rush, Colorado Thursday, February 22, 2018.Diners frequently got up from their seats to cross the room and say hello to friends. (Nadav Soroker, The Gazette)

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Sherie, left, and Willis Kelly prepare their meal at their final all-you-can-eat dinner at the Rush Cafe before they close in Rush, Colorado Wednesday, February 21, 2018. They grabbed a table where they were joined by friends when they weren't drifting around the room saying hello.(Nadav Soroker, The Gazette)
Sherie, left, and Willis Kelly prepare their meal at their final all-you-can-eat dinner at the Rush Cafe before they close in Rush, Colorado Thursday, February 22, 2018. They grabbed a table where they were joined by friends when they weren't drifting around the room saying hello. (Nadav Soroker, The Gazette)

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Jan Macy, front left, hugs Jan Johnson at the final all-you-can-eat dinner at the Rush Cafe before it closes in Rush, Colorado Wednesday, February 21, 2018. Diners frequently got up from their seats to cross the room and say hello to friends.(Nadav Soroker, The Gazette)
Jan Macy, front left, hugs Jan Johnson at the final all-you-can-eat dinner at the Rush Cafe before it closes in Rush, Colorado Thursday, February 22, 2018. Diners frequently got up from their seats to cross the room and say hello to friends. (Nadav Soroker, The Gazette)

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Kevin Strickland, standing, stops by to say hello to Nolan Payne, left, and Steve Payne at the final all-you-can-eat dinner at the Rush Cafe before they close in Rush, Colorado Wednesday, February 21, 2018. The Paynes are a five-generation local family that has been in the area since Steve Payne's grandfather first homesteaded in the area.(Nadav Soroker, The Gazette)
Kevin Strickland, standing, stops by to say hello to Nolan Payne, left, and Steve Payne at the final all-you-can-eat dinner at the Rush Cafe before they close in Rush, Colorado Thursday, February 22, 2018. The Paynes are a five-generation local family that has been in the area since Steve Payne's grandfather first homesteaded in the area. (Nadav Soroker, The Gazette)

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A man walks into the Rush Cafe before the final all-you-can-eat dinner before Sherie and Willis Kelly close the restaurant in Rush, Colorado Wednesday, February 21, 2018. The Rush Cafe was built in 1959 by Sherie's uncle and aunt and the family kept it open as the community hub for 59 years.(Nadav Soroker, The Gazette)
A man walks into the Rush Cafe before the final all-you-can-eat dinner before Sherie and Willis Kelly close the restaurant in Rush, Colorado Thursday, February 22, 2018. The Rush Cafe was built in 1959 by Sherie's uncle and aunt and the family kept it open as the community hub for 59 years. (Nadav Soroker, The Gazette)

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Cade Kelly works in the kitchen to prepare before the final all-you-can-eat dinner at the Rush Cafe before it closes in Rush, Colorado Wednesday, February 21, 2018. The Rush Cafe stayed open for 59 years after Kelly's great-uncle and aunt opened it in 1959, and stayed in the family passing first to his grandparents then parents before closing.(Nadav Soroker, The Gazette)
Cade Kelly works in the kitchen to prepare before the final all-you-can-eat dinner at the Rush Cafe before it closes in Rush, Colorado Thursday, February 22, 2018. The Rush Cafe stayed open for 59 years after Kelly's great-uncle and aunt opened it in 1959, and stayed in the family passing first to his grandparents then parents before closing. (Nadav Soroker, The Gazette)

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Norma Hoover, an
Norma Hoover, an "old timer from here," talks with Willis Kelly one of the owners of the Rush Cafe at the final all-you-can-eat dinner before it closes in Rush, Colorado Thursday, February 22, 2018. Hoover had been coming to the cafe since it was first owned by Kelly's uncle-in-law. (Nadav Soroker, The Gazette)

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Nolan Payne, Willis Kelly, and Nolan's father Steve Payne laugh at the final all-you-can-eat dinner at the Rush Cafe before Kelly and his wife Sherie close it in Rush, Colorado Wednesday, February 21, 2018. The Paynes have been coming all their lives, since Steve's father Robert started coming when it first opened, and Nolan brought his 6-month-old daughter to the final all-you-can-eat.(Nadav Soroker, The Gazette)
Nolan Payne, Willis Kelly, and Nolan's father Steve Payne laugh at the final all-you-can-eat dinner at the Rush Cafe before Kelly and his wife Sherie close it in Rush, Colorado Thursday, February 22, 2018. The Paynes have been coming all their lives, since Steve's father Robert started coming when it first opened, and Nolan brought his 6-month-old daughter to the final all-you-can-eat. (Nadav Soroker, The Gazette)

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Norma Hoover holds Avery Payne, while she talks to Robert Payne, Avery's great-grandfather, at the final all-you-can-eat dinner at the Rush Cafe before it closes, in Rush, Colorado on Wednesday, February 21, 2018. The cafe is closing after 59 years, and many longtime visitors came to the final -all-you-can-eat night to say goodbye.(Nadav Soroker, The Gazette)
Norma Hoover holds Avery Payne, while she talks to Robert Payne, Avery's great-grandfather, at the final all-you-can-eat dinner at the Rush Cafe before it closes, in Rush, Colorado on Thursday, February 22, 2018. The cafe is closing after 59 years, and many longtime visitors came to the final -all-you-can-eat night to say goodbye. (Nadav Soroker, The Gazette)

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Norma Hoover, an
Norma Hoover, an "old timer from here," hugs Sherie Kelly, one of the owners of the Rush Cafe at the final all-you-can-eat dinner before it closes in Rush, Colorado Thursday, February 22, 2018. Hoover had been coming to the cafe since it was first owned by Kelly's uncle. (Nadav Soroker, The Gazette)

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