Lee’s Cafe logo to be featured on NASCAR car

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 19, 2016

By Amanda Raymond


ROCKWELL — A logo from Lee’s Café will be featured on a race car during a NASCAR race on May 29.

Lee’s East Rowan Café, at 203 W. Main St., won a General Mills drawing to feature their logo on the upper quarter panel of the No. 3 race car driven by Austin Dillon during the Coca-Cola 600 race in Charlotte.

The “Lee” of Lee’s Café was Sarah Bickish’s brother. Bickish said she got involved in the business to help her brother in 2012 and took over in 2013 when he passed away from cancer.

Bickish greets many of her customers by name and prides herself on offering fresh, homemade food, like the hand-cut pork loin, charbroiled, flatiron Black Angus steak, potato salad and baked spaghetti.

“I don’t get any of that pre-packaged stuff,” Bickish said.

She said people cannot get enough of her desserts, including cherry yum yums and banana pudding.

Lee’s Café has a buffet bar, which includes a salad bar, soups, bread, free dessert and a free beverage before 2 p.m. on weekdays.

The restaurant also offers a 99-cent menu, 50-cent wing nights and catering.

Every year, Bickish goes out to Orrell’s Food Show to visit the different booths and learn new things that she can use for the restaurant. The show was held at the Richard Childress Racing Museum.

Bickish said Lee’s Café usually wins something at the show every year. General Mills sponsored a drawing that offered a “VIP NASCAR Experience,” with three prize packages available to the 350 restaurants at the show. When the final prizes were being announced, Bickish said Paul Hager, the restaurant’s manager who was also at the show, said he realized the Café had not won anything all day.

“I said, ‘Baby, it’s not over yet. Hang on,’ Not even expecting anything,” she recalled.

Lee’s Café ended up winning the grand prize package.

Bickish said she was frozen in place when the restaurant’s name was announced. She had been joking around about winning a prize package, but did not think it would actually happen.

“I couldn’t walk. I couldn’t do anything,” she said.

Luckily, Hager, who is also her boyfriend, was there to help.

“I grabbed her with one arm, picked her up and carried her up there to the front of the stage,” he said.

Bickish said she was introducing General Mills products into the restaurant, starting with freshly baked cinnamon buns.

“I wanted to bring in some new products that Rockwell didn’t have,” Bickish said.

The value of the package is more than $210,000. Along with Lee Café’s logo on both sides of the car, the package also includes pre-race passes, all-access passes, a meet and greet with Austin Dillon and the pit crew, pictures with Dillon and the car, VIP clubhouse seats, a 2-night hotel stay, a hospitality suite and a track tour. All transportation is provided and they will also receive food and beverage vouchers.

“It’s the whole nine yards,” Bickish said.

The Lee Café’s logo will be against a red background with the restaurant’s name printed in white. The upper corners of the logo will each feature a black stallion.

A picture of Bickish and Hager standing in front of the General Mills booth at the show is up on the wall near the front register in the restaurant and a picture of the race car with the Café’s logo is on the wall near the buffet.

“It’s exciting,” Bickish said.

Bickish and Hager will leave for Charlotte on May 28 and attend the race on May 29.

For more information about Lee’s East Rowan Café, call 704-279-6635.

Contact reporter Amanda Raymond at 704-797-4222.