WARREN—COVID-19 left a hole in the tiny village of Warren last year when the St. George River Café had to close.
Warren resident C.T. Nguyen couldn’t bear to see the beloved community eatery stay shuttered, so, with a silent partner who often frequented the Café, he revived the business under the same name. Its grand reopening took place Friday. August 20, with music performed by the Blind Albert Duo and Phog.
Related Story: The Cafe’s origins
The menu is simple, with head chef Bennett Perry at the helm.
Opening night featured specialty burgers, hot dogs, and a summer salad.
“We’re sourcing locally as much as possible,” she said. “On certain Saturday nights, we’ll be offering a space for guest chefs to come in and cook their food as a cooperative model, and in addition to that, we’ll be offering themed nights: Italian, Russian, Portuguese, German, and so on.”
While the menu will change weekly, Bennett said the staples will include homemade vegetarian and meat-based soups, dumplings, quiche, and pie.
Bennett, whose background is in baking, will be offering an array of baked goods each morning including scones and muffins with a variety of egg dishes.
Lunchtime will be light fare—soups, salads, and sandwiches—pre-made, for the local workers who need grab-and-go options in 30 minutes. And they’re even offering brunch on Sundays.
Nguyen, who serves as the Project Manager of the restaurant, has big plans for the restaurant beyond food and drink. The space will also serve as the community’s Meeting House.
The Meeting House Weekly Evening Events
Tuesday: Nonprofit Night
Thursday: Open Jam
Friday: Professional Music Night
Saturday: Guest Chef or Theme Night
“Music is going to be a big piece of this place with semi-pro and professional musicians regularly playing,” said Nguyen. “And because I work with kids, once a month, we’re going to host a Chem-Free Night, so we can get young people in here performing, as well.”
Using the projects that Nguyen takes to heart, such as working with nonprofits, the cafe is going to host a weekly ‘Nonprofit Night,” in which each group can share what they do.
“On those nights we’ll have a light menu and they can share what good things are happening in the community,” he said.
They’ll also offer nights for improv comedy and storytelling à la the Moth: Storytelling. And lunchtime is reserved for community groups who want to use the space, such as book clubs, and garden clubs.
People have been knocking on the door, showing up to the town meetings with full support and they are excited, said Nguyen.
The St. George River Cafe will be open six days a week, closed on Mondays.
For more information visit their Facebook page.
Kay Stephens can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org