Cheers for Niles’ Riverfront Cafe

Published 8:37 pm Friday, November 7, 2003

By By BEN RAYMOND LODE / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- It has taken a while, but the Riverfront Cafe in Niles has finally received its Class C Liquor License.
The state license allows the cafe, which is located on Front Street in downtown Niles, to sell beer, wine and spirits.
Tammy Watson, who owns the cafe with Gerri Klinck, said the final inspection by a representative from the state's Liquor Control Commission took place on Thursday last week.
Watson said the license, which they applied for in March, was picked up in Lansing on Thursday.
Today, she said, will be the cafe's first day of selling liquor.
Watson and Klinck think the license will add to what the cafe has to offer its customers, especially those who come there to eat.
But Klinck also thinks the license will attract more people at different times of the day.
So far, most of the business appears to be during lunch time, she said.
The cafe will sell wine, beer and spirits, but the two don't intend to stock a full bar, Watson said.
What they will offer is bottled domestic and imported beer, as well as beer from some of Michigan's many micro breweries, she said.
Watson said the cafe will also feature wine from local vineyards, such as Tabor Hill of Buchanan, St. Julian's Winery of Paw Paw and Heart of the Vineyard, which is located in Baroda.
In addition, she said, the cafe will sell imported wines from around the world.
Both Klinck and Watson said business at Riverfront Cafe, which has been open for two months, has exceeded their expectations.
They are grateful for local support and happy to see people from neighboring communities making the trip to Niles for a cafe visit.
Watson and Klinck are expecting more customers as a result of their new license.
That's also why the cafe will start featuring musical events every Saturday night, mostly jazz.
Although the cafe won't stock a full bar, Watson is excited about the opportunity the license gives the cafe to experiment with different coffee drinks.
She aired the idea of maybe even having a Martini Night once in a while.
The City of Niles received a $225,000 grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corp. because of Klinck and Watson's investment and their subsequent renovation of the building formerly known as H.I.'s.
The $225,000 will be used to improve the street scape on Front Street in downtown Niles, which is estimated to begin sometime next spring
City officials said approximately $8,000 of the grant has already been used on construction of an ornamental fence around the cafe's outdoor patio.