Chef plans Niles bistro
Published 4:24 pm Thursday, November 17, 2011
It’s no secret the restaurant business is considered one of the riskiest. Even the greatest chefs spend days, years and months planning every detail — from the menu to the napkin holders.
But Niles area chef Daysha Amster — who announced last week her dream of owning a restaurant would become a reality — is not intimidated.
“No, I’m really excited,” she said. “I scare away the nervousness with the intent to do good for the people I’m surrounded by.”
Amster, owner and operator of Olfactory Hue Catering, is planning the opening of Olfactory Hue Bistro on Main Street in Niles in 2012.
The restaurant will be located in the old Thayer Building, currently home to Your Kitchen Connection, which will move its business online.
Opening a restaurant has been a dream of Amster’s, who trained in Seattle at the Art Institute and had been looking for an available space in Niles for a while. While vending her homemade products at Riverfront Park, she said she met local landlord Scott Roberts, whose wife, Jill, has been the face of Your Kitchen Connection since it opened.
“Scott and I were vending down at the park together, and we really just got along,” Amster said.
The two seemed to be “in the same vein,” even though Amster said Roberts is not a foodie. But she sings the landlord’s praises for encouraging business in Niles.
“He is just a person who is great at getting things done and great at putting things in motion,” Amster said.
“He has a great mind and cares about Niles business a really great deal.”
In motion now are plans to renovate the retail space to suit a fully functioning restaurant. Amster is planning to keep the mahogany shelving that was used as part of the original Thayer’s jewelry store.
The bistro will also feature a deli case and seating is planned for 40 patrons.
“We will have a small deli case with prepared to-go salads,” she said.
Amster’s other homemade goods, which foodies may have caught at the Bensidoun French Market over the summer, will also be available. And she’s planning to brand the name with T-shirts and pint glasses also available for purchase.
Olfactory Hue Bistro will serve breakfast, lunch and brunch with a full menu that Amster is hoping to release soon by posting it on Olfactory Hue Catering’s Facebook page and distributing it around neighboring businesses.
The restaurant is just the latest step Amster is making in encouraging a food movement that centers on more sustainable and locally sourced food.
“It’s a lifestyle of using products and finding a way to make it more readily available for everyone to eat local and natural and sustainable and get away from the larger corporations and give back to our own communities,” Amster said.
“It’s really bigger than just eating at my restaurant. It’s just a small part that plays in a really big picture.”
Amster said she is hopeful to include as much of the Niles community into that picture as possible.
She has given cooking demonstrations to seniors at area senior centers and is planning on working with Niles students at the Oak Manor Sixth Grade Center on their annual project where they make, market and sell products at the French Market.
With the ball rolling on her restaurant, Amster said she hopes to educate the community on eating healthier and living healthier.
And that leaves no time for nerves.
“I’m really inspired by the people who have come out and shown support and help me feel like it’s the right decision,” she said.
“That it’s needed in this area and that it’s time for change in a positive way.”