Open once more

After three long weeks, Mike’s Cafe is ready to re-open after undergoing major renovations

Photo by Karin Elton From left: owner Ross Taveirne and employees Theresa Mercie, Jana Moon and Tim Whiting take a moment Friday morning to pose for photos inbetween putting the finishing touches on a major remodeling effort. Employee Karen Kor also helped out.

MARSHALL — Not a day went by without someone popping their head into Mike’s Cafe during the three-week long closing for renovations to ask when is it re-opening.

The answer is — today!

“I’m 99 percent sure,” said owner Ross Taveirne, who has owned Mike’s since 2013.

Taveirne said he is eager to re-open.

“I’m very excited,” he said.

The renovations started with the bathrooms, which were dismal-looking and needed to be upgraded to make them more ADA-compliant. Taveirne decided to make totally new bathrooms, adding on to the cafe.

“They weren’t appealing,” Taveirne said of the rest rooms. “They were in rough shape.”

While doing that, he decided he might as well renovate the whole cafe. His first step was to toss out the booths, tables and chairs, which were in varying conditions from well-worn to pretty decent. He decided to post on the cafe’s Facebook page a photo of the booths, tables and chairs piled up in the back parking lot and wrote that they were there for the taking.

“Within 24 hours they were gone,” Taveirne said. Even the ones in “terrible shape.”

After clearing the place out, he installed a new sewer line.

“It was there from the late ’60s when this building was built,” he said.

Then the carpet was ripped up and new flooring installed — concrete with epoxy over that and color swirled in.

“It’s low maintenance and easy to clean,” he said.

Other changes include LED lighting, and new energy-efficient windows.

The cafe has new paint and booths, tables and chairs. He chose earth tone colors — light browns and golds. The booths are teal in the main dining room and brick red in the area where the “regulars” sit.

“I wanted a warm, cozy, comfortable feel,” Taveirne said. “At night, the lighting will give off a nice ambience instead of — ‘look at us, we’re eating.'”

Taveirne said the renovation has allowed for larger groups to sit together comfortably.

“Sundays are our busiest day,” he said. “We can keep tables separate or push them all together.”

The kitchen was left alone as was the menu.

“We had just updated the menu before we closed,” he said. “We slimmed down the menu and will offer specials for lunch and dinner.”

Taveirne employs 40 employees — with 12 to 15 full-time and the rest part-time. Four of the employees have been a godsend to him with their steadfast help.

“They’ve been helping every day,” he said. “If they weren’t here, I don’t know what I’d do.”

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