Shari Wilkinson, another former patron who was munching there the other day, said, “I used to come with my children, as did other women. The kids are in college now.
“This used to be where much of the creative community came, for coffee or a meal. You could expect to see people you knew, and have a lot of ideas and information to share.”
Radulski, the step-grandaughter of Degive, said that part of their game plan is to offer catering as well as the in-house menu. She said, “It’s great to be back, and we look forward to seeing former customers.”
The pair was in the local catering business during the “Stella years.”
Middle Street Food has been redesigned with about 32 seats, many adjacent to its large south-facing windows. Its menu offers a variety of baked goods, house sandwiches and tossed salads.
Of course, it also offers coffee and other beverages. It can’t be said that one can’t obtain a cup of java in Newburyport.
“There is (restaurant) competition in town, but our price points are low,” said Coyle. “In the past we’ve had a steady stream of local lawyers, businessmen and merchants who come here on a regular basis, and I hope that continues.
“Our catering will expand as our brand gets known again in the community.”
He said that the café is expected to provide about 70 percent of its business, with the catering accounting for the other 30 percent.
The venue, with natural boards on the floor and historical photos on the walls, only opened last Thursday.
But it appears it is being re-discovered by former regulars.
“It’s so exciting to be back,” gushed Hilary Esdaile recently as she embraced a fellow customer whom she hadn’t seen in some time.
“When I lived here, I came by regularly. Now that we’ve moved to Wenham, I am so happy I have a place where I can count on seeing people I know.”