WARREN — All winter, the bottom floor of the three-story wooden building next to the St. George River in Warren has been transforming. For 20 years, it had been Wink’s Whimseys, an antique store. Partners Ann Gonzalez and Fanny Faye Davis left their jobs and condo in Seattle, Wash., last year and moved to Maine, hoping to find more affordable land and a country house. Gonzalez, who’d grown up in New England, said she always had a desire to come back so, sight unseen, they bought a house in Warren and moved cross-country to Maine.
In their first week here, the moving truck still hadn’t arrived, so they took a walk down to Wink’s Whimseys to look for a table. While there, they had a conversation with the owners, Clayton and Joan Winchenbach, who were looking to sell the space. And without much ado, Gonzalez and Davis bought the space, and spent the winter transforming the dusty old antique store into the St. George River Café.
“You’ve got this beautiful river in town and a library, but there was no place to sit and eat and gather together with people, so we decided to open the café,” said Gonzalez.
Renovations are almost complete with a newly stained and polyurethaned dark floor and a sign being made. All of the mismatched tables and chairs inside have been donated by the community— a fitting twist, given that they bought their first table in that building.
Both Gonzalez and Davis have some restaurant experience behind the grill and front of the house. The café offers breakfast, lunch and dinner specials, and Davis’ baking is already getting repeat customers and rave reviews.
“We’re probably going to be offering music and open mics as we get going,” said Gonzalez. They are going full bore seven days a week, with a tentative schedule of 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. during the week, and 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m on the weekends. The café also offers free WiFi, which makes it a perfect place for people to work and socialize.
The under-the-radar soft opening this month also fits with Warren’s pace in general, and slow and deliberate they plan on having a grand opening May 28. Stay tuned to their Facebook page for more details.
Kay Stephens can be reached at email@example.com