Countdown to a Restaurant: The Hope Cafe at the Merc

If you have heard a rumor that something amazing is being cooked up at Davis Grocery, then I would like to take this opportunity to confirm that the rumor is true! After months of planning, envisioning and reimagining, we are just a week or two away from making a full-service cafe a reality. Our chef April has created an incredible breakfast and lunch menu that we know our community is going to love, and we can’t wait to roll it out. But due to covid, the equipment we ordered has been delayed, so this homestretch is stretching out longer than we could have imagined.

As we look back over the last couple years, we are not sure if we should laugh about it or cry. Our initial launch in 2018 was ridiculously bumpy and not at all how we envisioned the store, but we took our lumps and rolled into 2019 with high hopes. Then we get the letter that they decided to work on the bridge (the main road to our store) a year early and better yet, close the road for the WHOLE summer–which is our main source of income. Luckily the city intervened on our behalf and convinced the DOT to work on the bridge in the winter so that we could at least have a summer. But lo and behold, what should have taken 6 weeks took 5 months and they were closed during half the summer anyway! OMG. That’s ok, we told ourselves, 2020 is going to be our year! We all know how that turned out, lol.

Here’s the thing: with all the setbacks come opportunity. We had a vision for the store that we were never able to realize due to circumstances, but through the frustration we got to hear from our community loud and clear about what they actually wanted. Did they love having the grocery store? Sure. But it turns out that a single purpose grocery store is not actually what they wanted and needed. Overwhelmingly what we heard from our customers is they wanted a place to congregate, to have community, and they wanted BREAKFAST. Our limited kitchen equipment and staff training allowed us to roll out breakfast burritos–which is great, but hardly a solution. What we needed was an industrial kitchen and a chef. But instead we got handed the dumpster fire of 2020.

Flash forward to today. God heard our prayers and brought into our life an amazing chef, full of passion, talent and a love of our Hope community. And slowly but surely, piece by piece, we have been able to get the equipment and supplies we need to have a fully operational kitchen. The propane was installed in December, the soda fountain today, and the rest of the stuff should arrive in the next week. We can’t give you an opening date yet because nothing seems to arrive when they say it will or work out like we think it will, BUT…we are super close!

We’ll announce it when we get closer, and will probably have a soft opening of the restaurant to work out the kinks. But here’s the gist of the menu: pancakes, waffles, french toast, biscuits and homemade gravy, omeletes, speciality benedicts, hamburgers (including a swiss mushroom using Woods meats that is to die for), chicken caesar, chopped salad, daily soups, meatloaf sandwich, hot turkey bacon melt, gluten-free options, a kids menu, half orders priced just right and SO MUCH MORE! Just wait till you see the Hi-Hopes Special, made with our locals in mind. The town of Hope has spoken and we listened. We may not be moving as fast as we would like, but every day we get a little closer and we know we are going to make our town proud.

Stay tuned! God bless,

The DGM team

One Comment Add yours

  1. Lynn piper says:

    Yay Merc!


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