Shortie’s Out of Sight Cafe

Shortie’s Out Of Sight Café opened as a business in September 2004 and is owned and operated by Lilian G. Grimes (Lily or “Shortie”).   The Café was originally located at 975 Walnut St, Suite 201 Cary, NC and was open 8am – 4pm Monday through Friday, and normally closed on weekends and holidays.  However, since Cary Band Day in November was such a big event, Lily decided to open the Café on that day to give the kids and parents a place to warm up and get a bite to eat.  She continued this tradition until 2012 – missing only one event due to family commitments out of the state. 

You could always dine-in, take-out, call-in for pick up, and even get an event catered.  You also could arrange to use the Café for meetings after-hours and on weekends.  Originally the Café only accepted cash or checks, but in 2010 Lily decided to take credit cards.   This proved a wise choice as her sales increased significantly – and brought in new customers.

The Café was a proud member of the Cary Chamber of Commerce from 2005 through 2012, and was a vendor at two of their annual “Taste of Cary” events.  It was mentioned in the Raleigh News & Observer Life section (August 30, 2006) as one of the unique local area eateries.  There were also ads for the Café in the Cary Today magazine in June of 2005 and 2006.

The main customer base was students, staff, and faculty from Cary High School, tenants of the building in which the Café was located, as well as some other nearby buildings.  The Café was so popular with the Cary HS students that it was voted the number one place to eat off campus in 2009.

The menu consisted of breakfast and lunch items – which were served all day long – and was mainly deli sandwiches and grilled items.  There were occasional Weekly Specials, and also meals under $2 called “Cheap Eats” that fit into just about anyone’s budget.   Customers raved about the chicken salad – with some folks coming back on a regular basis just for that, as well as the some of the specialty items.

Speaking of specialty items – Lily is from the Philippines, so there were quite a few Filipino dishes on the menu, and several others that often appeared as Weekly Specials.  In fact, Filipino food was so popular people started coming in just for that, so in 2010 she opened on a couple of Saturdays just to serve that food.  The demand became so great that in 2011 the Filipino Food Fest was launched – which was held on the third Saturday of every month and featured a regular menu of the favorites as well as occasional special items and desserts.

In September 2012 Lily was advised that the building Café was in was slated to be torn down to make way for a Harris Teeter complex to be built in 2013, and that she had vacate to the building by November 15, 2012.  On November 4, 2012 the Café closed after a final hectic day of supporting Cary Band Day.
However, Lily had been approached by the kind folks from Cary Franklin-Sloan VFW Post 7383 about moving her operations to the Post to take over as the manager of their kitchen, which been closed for quite some time.   They even allowed her to continue using her business name so her former customers could locate her.  The move took about a month to complete and on December 3, 2012 opened for just Post members.  Lily was welcomed with open arms and by January 2013 the Café was opened to the general public, and things were back in full swing with most of the lunch items from the old menu – and even the Filipino Food Fest was back on track.

The Café is still the only place in the Cary, NC area that serves Filipino food, which means the Post is the only one in the NC VFW District 7 with this distinction – and possibly the state.   Filipino food was served for the District 7 meeting that was held at the Post in April 2013 and was met with resounding praise from all who attended, adding yet another accolade.


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