Reviving Uptown Susanville’s Grand Cafe: Judith Lowery’s Artistic Vision Illuminates Main Street with Nostalgia and Ambition


A revitalization is poised to breathe new life into the fading charm of historic Uptown Susanville as the neon glow of the Grand Cafe prepares to brighten Main Street once more.

Guiding this ambitious undertaking are Judith Lowery and her husband, proud Susanville natives who share a bit of the town’s history, have undertaken the task of restoring the nearly centennial building to its former glory.

Recalling stories from her father about the Grand, Judith, a distinguished artist with collections featured in the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento and a gallery in Nevada City, felt a calling when the Dixie Fire approached Susanville’s doorstep. With resolve, she decided to retire her collection in Nevada City and return home to confront the challenges of reviving the Grand.

A picture of her father in his military greens and pink, returning from WWII, sits on the mantle of the cafe, serving as a point of inspiration for the massive undertaking.

Having acquired the building just a year ago, Judith, her family, and contractors have already made noteworthy progress. However, she acknowledges that the restoration journey is intricate, as much of the building requires extensive repairs.

Paint peels from the ceilings caused by years of water damage from a leaking roof and rusted old equipment litter the basement.
Expressing her vision, Judith aspires to instill a family-friendly ambiance in the front section of the restaurant, reminiscent of the Art Deco era. She pictures hues of green gracing the walls and historic coffee decanters, once brimming with coffee, now gleaming as Judith wants to repurpose them for fountain drinks.

In addition to this, she envisions an open-viewing kitchen seamlessly connecting the front dining area to the rear of the restaurant, where a more sophisticated atmosphere will cater to adult patrons.

As the Grand Cafe undergoes its transformation, Judith Lowery’s passion and artistic sensibilities promise to infuse the historic establishment with renewed vitality and purpose.