BROKEN BOW–In a time of uncertainty and new developments each and every day, a Broken Bow establishment can provide some consistency with delicious homestyle cooking. The Tumbleweed Cafe has a tradition of good food and a family atmosphere but has also made some new developments of its own. You might have missed it last week because a drive thru window was added in just the last few days.
The Broken Bow restaurant has been around for more than 60 years and has been owned by Carmen and Anson Bumgarner for the last 20 years, after they purchased it from Donna and Harry Winbolt in 2001. Carmen Bumgarner worked at the Tumbleweed since she was 13 years old and said she never imagined a drive thru window, even in her wildest dreams.
As the news of COVID-19 increased over the last month Carmen said she began to see a decline in business; people were not coming into the cafe as they usually did. She and Anson decided to first make some adjustments so they added curbside pickup, carryout services, and delivery thanks to Carmen’s son Sawyer.
And then the historic Broken Bow Cruise Night happened. On Friday, April 3, 2020 the Tumbleweed Cafe served more than 500 people in just a few hours. A line of cars filled Highway 2 and Carmen said it was overwhelming but also a huge blessing.
“It was very overwhelming. It was great community support and I always knew we lived in a great community especially, you know a few years ago Anson had some health trouble and quite a few people pulled together for us then and I knew we always lived in a great community. After Friday night if anybody don’t believe that, they can look at the videos and the stuff was going around that night was unbelievable,” Bumgarner said.
Later on Friday night a statewide Directed Health Measure took effect requiring restaurants and bars to close their dining areas. Carmen told KCNI/KBBN she knew this would take a toll not just on the business and her ability to support her family, but also on her employees and their families.
Carmen and Anson acted quickly and with the help of their daughter, Ida, and niece Lilly, decided to box in the front entryway and add a drive thru. They called Carmen’s brother-in-law Derek Thorton, Mead Lumber for materials, and had it done by Sunday night (April 5). The drive thru was painted by Monday night and has been serving customers each day since.
Through tears Carmen thanked everyone for their support saying, “I just absolutely want to thank everybody for their great support, it’s been amazing. It’s just great, unbelievable. I especially thank my family for all their support and love they’ve shown me through this.”
The Tumbleweed is open daily from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and is located at 850 East S East St. in Broken Bow. Call 308-872-5454 or visit https://direct.chownow.com/order/13459/locations/18854 to place an order, or head on over to the new drive thru!