A local restaurant is celebrating its one-year anniversary despite multiple COVID-19 closures and challenges.
Riverside Hideaway on Mill Street in Coldwater opened last year on July 17.
“Things have gone really good. We had a lot of support from the town during the pandemic when we went to take-out only, we were really lucky,” said restaurant owner Pamela Venne.
Plans to open the restaurant were in the works in late 2019 and were already set in motion before the pandemic struck.
“We finished our realtor paperwork in February and shortly after, the pandemic hit,” Venne explained.
Restaurant staff will be relieved when they host a ribbon-cutting ceremony Saturday. All their hard work during the pandemic has finally resulted in a chance to exhale and enjoy the restaurant's delayed grand opening, she said.
“It’s honestly going to be very emotional. We didn’t know what to expect last year when the pandemic happened, but we are just so thankful that we made it through,” Venne said.
During the many closures and capacity restrictions, Riverside Hideaway management had to get creative in order to build relationships with locals. Venne and her team tried to establish the restaurant by giving everything they had to the community.
“We ended up making meals for people who couldn’t afford to eat, and at Christmas time we provided a Christmas dinner plus toys for the kids to help support 16 local families in need. We gave back what we could in order to build a relationship with the community,” she said.
The restaurant also lets their food do the talking. Riverside Hideaway has become a popular spot for those who are looking for a nice steak dinner, some chicken, pasta, fish, or a sandwich.
“All our sauces are made in-house, we make our own balsamic chicken, we have our own recipe for our cheese dip which is different from every other cheese dip ... we put our own touches on every meal,” Venne explained.
Venne and her husband Marcel, who is a retired military serviceman of 23 years, are from Angus. However, they already feel at home in Coldwater just one year after doing business in the small community.
“In a small town you get known for your dishes, your staff, and people remember a mom-and-pop restaurant who puts out the quality food,” she said.
“We love Coldwater, and we are so happy to be a part of this community."