Patrice Langston first considered the former cafeteria space inside 701 N. Niles Ave. as another location for its restoration operation.
Langston, who lives in Florida and owns a corporate catering business called A Taste of Heaven in Atlanta, came to the South Bend area for a business event and met with local developer David Matthews, owner of the building.
But after seeing the space, she thought it might be more.
“I saw the space and I said ‘well you know this would probably be a really good restaurant,’” Langston said. “And then I started to sample the restaurants in town and noticed that there weren’t a lot of comfort foods.… (At least) none of them do what I do.”
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Working with business partner Michael Welch, Langston opened the Riverwalk Cafe this weekend for take-out only inside the colorful building along the East Rim Trail. The restaurant uses recipes from his catering business, offering comfort food ranging from Southern to Caribbean and Italian fare.
“I switch between American, Caribbean and Italian soul food, because all of those things have a nice cozy feeling,” she said.
Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the Riverwalk Cafe uses lots of butter and heavy cream dishes to create flavorful dishes like shrimp and oatmeal, pancakes, buttermilk fried chicken , “rasta pasta” with cream and spices and chicken curry. The restaurant also uses halal chicken for cooking, which is defined based on how the bird is slaughtered and, according to Langston, makes the meat less bloody.
To find the restaurant, customers have to navigate the large 77,000 square foot building along the St. Joseph River, but Langston hopes in the future to have a more direct entrance through the outdoor space.
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For the moment, the restaurant will remain open for take-out or delivery only, as the rest of the space outside the kitchen is still under construction. The dining room where customers will eventually be served is currently still structured as a cafeteria. Langston plans to add “cozy touches” and build a patio that will lead to the East Bank Trail. It also plans to add a garage door to the rear of the restaurant space to create an indoor-outdoor atmosphere.
“We’re just trying to do as much as possible,” Langston said. “We did it in phases, so our first phase, of course, is to open up the kitchen. So once the kitchen is open we want to go ahead and open up the dining room and once we have the kitchen open. ‘did, we went to work on the terrace.… It was an adventure. ”
Langston expects construction to be completed and catering services to begin in August.
Riverwalk Cafe is open Friday through Monday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Opening of a local barbecue restaurant in Granger
A new local barbecue is slated to open this fall.
Dean’s Barbecue and Restaurant will be located in a 1,500 square foot space in the same complex as Beef ‘O’ Brady’s and The Chief Ice Cream on Indiana 23 in Granger.
Owner Phil Gulis, who will be opening the restaurant with his brother Tim, said part of the menu will consist of barbecue items like brisket, half-chickens and pulled pork with a house Memphis-inspired sauce. The other half of the menu will be ‘chef driven’ with pork chops and rotating dishes.
Gulis, who recently worked in the kitchens at Morris Inn and Holy Cross College, said he plans to open the restaurant by early September.
Did you hear?
Renegade Resale local consignment store celebrates its first anniversary. The clothing store at 928 E. Ireland Road in South Bend opened in June 2020 and will launch a customer rewards program next month. … McDonald’s fast food chain will soon be offering a nationwide loyalty program. MyMcDonald’s rewards will be available on the app at participating restaurants starting July 8. Participants will earn 100 points for every dollar spent on qualifying purchases and the accumulated points can be used for future purchases. … Michigan Restaurants and Bars are now able to return to full capacity for indoor and outdoor service. The restriction was lifted on Tuesday after Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s 15-month tenure in an attempt to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
Contact Mary Shown at 574-235-6244 and [email protected] Follow her on Twitter: @maryshownSBT and @marketbasketSBT.