Monica Smith and her husband William Smith opened their first restaurant in 1993. Smith was 22 and her husband was 24 years old, and since then, their establishment has become a staple in Atlanta. They were the first entrepreneurs in their families. Smith originally wanted to be a lawyer but decided to help her husband pursue his entrepreneurial dreams.
“Believe in yourself…because we had no idea,” said Smith. “I’m looking forward to the next 30.”
Mr. Everything Cafe recently celebrated 30 years of business, along with a re-opening of its flagship location. The restaurant serves a variety of food including burgers, gyros, sandwiches, and salads. There are currently four locations in Georgia.
Mr. Everything Cafe’s new flagship location on 882 MLK Jr. Drive SW has been in the works since 2018. The 3,000 sq. ft. restaurant has a full bar and three levels with potential plans to open the lower level for a members-only cigar lounge.
Smith said the opening went well with many community members coming to show support. Smith has seen some customers go from high school to college to career jobs. Smith said she makes it her mission to build genuine relationships with her customers. She’s had the same cell number for years and has no problem giving it to her customers.
“We’re always on site. I don’t ever want to get too large for customers to reach out and touch me.”– Monica Smith
The highlight of the grand opening was Smith watching her grandchildren cut the ribbon.
“The grand opening went well. We’re so grateful,” said Smith. She added that her grandchildren felt like celebrities.
Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens couldn’t make it to the re-opening but showed up a few days later to have a meal with the Smiths.
Franchising the Brand
Smith announced to Carvd N Stone that Mr. Everything Cafe has been franchising for the last few years. This is their first time publically announcing it. In 2024, Smith is looking to go full force with the franchising by opening more locations in Georgia.
At the time of the interview, Smith recently submitted her application to open a Mr. Everything Cafe location at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. The plan is to also open a restaurant in Los Angeles.
Nyesha Stone founded Carvd N Stone in 2017 to cover positive news while attending the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Stone has a B.A. in Journalism. She has raised over $30,000 to award grants and scholarships. She has also been featured in ESSENCE and worked with the American Black Film Festival.