With a new red trim, a few décor changes inside and new owners Aminda Carrasco and Jesus Vasquez, Nifty’s Restaurant has reopened for breakfast and lunch. The husband and wife team reopened the doors for business on May 13 and have been welcoming the regulars and new customers ever since. The landmark restaurant has been in the community since 1945.
Originally they were going to open in February; however, due to a vehicle crashing into the back of the building, it delayed their schedule until May.
“It (the first day) was a very good response,” said Aminda. “I didn’t think very many people would come because it was closed for a while but we had a good turnout. We had a really good crowd. The regulars helped out quite a bit because they told others that we were open again.”
There was a time there when people were asking what happened to Nifty’s Restaurant on Atchison at Second Street as it had been closed for a few months. In 1976, Bill and Betty Mitchell purchased the restaurant where their daughter Linda worked for over 40 years and eventually became partners with her parents. After a few health complications, Linda decided to step down and the restaurant was put up for lease.
Approximately four to five years ago, Jesus was working there for the Mitchells cooking up everything on the menu for patrons and regulars alike.
With an extensive knowledge of the food industry, Jesus worked for different businesses throughout the area where he served up many different dishes.
He has always enjoyed cooking and it is very important to him that his customers receive the best quality food and service.
“I cook for people like I would cook for myself,” stated Jesus. “I want people to enjoy the food and want to come back.”
Although the duo has never owned their own restaurant before, with Jesus’s experience working in the restaurant business this new adventure should prove to be a busy but exciting endeavor for them.
The new owners serve up fresh fare daily and have a variety of omelets, country skillets, pancakes, French toast, and their popular palate pleasing biscuits and gravy, made from scratch. The hash browns are Jesus’s very own recipe and Aminda makes a homemade potato salad which has been a hit with the customers.
The American food served up for breakfast and lunch at Nifty’s is very similar to the menu that the Mitchells offered.
They plan to have some specials from time to time and may adjust the menu as they go.
“We are sticking to what was sold here before,” added Aminda. “In the future we will add more things as we go. We have had a good response so far.”
A favorite lunch item is the Knockout burger made with Angus beef. On their lunch menu they also offer a variety of burgers and sandwiches as well as soup or chili. They have a senior menu and a kids menu and of course they still offer the real ice cream milkshakes.
“Customers keep me busy and he is used to it because he has always worked in that type of work, just not for himself,” expressed Aminda. “It has been a good run so far. I can’t complain. There are a lot of nice people here in Riverbank.”
So far one of the standout moments of running their own restaurant for Aminda was experiencing the kindness given from one stranger to another. She explained that someone will just pick up someone else’s tab at random without them knowing it and pay for it which is something that she has been in awe about.
Customers stop in from Riverbank, Oakdale, and surrounding areas as well as travelers passing through town, with Jesus and Aminda welcoming them all, happy to serve them.
Nifty’s is open from 6:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday and on Sundays, 6:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. and is at 3203 Atchison in Riverbank.