While the name itself took time to figure out, The Night Café has long been a goal for Salmon Arm’s Adam and Jenna Meikle.
The couple opened their Lakeshore Drive eatery (across the street from the downtown Askew’s) on October 31, 2020. If you didn’t hear about it, there’s a reason.
“We didn’t really tell anyone,” said Adam, explaining the quiet opening offered a chance to pace themselves and “figure out who we are as a business.”
The Night Café is currently open Thursday to Saturday, from noon to 9 p.m. Its menu features a variety of sweet and savoury crepes, artisinal thin-crust pizzas, as well as a variety of hot drinks, all of which can be enjoyed in-house or as take-out.
In addition to its menu, another defining aspect of The Night Café is that it shares space with Meikle Studios Social Art House, the Meikle’s other downtown business where Adam paints and shares his love and knowledge of painting with others. Adam’s art also features prominently on the walls of The Night Café, adding colour and character to the space.
“We wanted to expand and before we opened the studio, we wanted to do a café,” explained Adam, noting the lifestyle and social interaction such a business brings to a community appealed to him and Jenna.
“Feeding people is pretty important I think.”
The Meikle’s opened their first Salmon Arm art studio on Ross Street in 2016. The following year, they moved to their space at 148 Lakeshore Drive. Even then, the two had plans for expansion to include a dining option.
“We decided to move into a very small space and wait for something to become available beside us,” said Adam. “We didn’t know if that would take one year or 10 years; we were going to stick to our spot. And something opened up the third year we were in this space so we jumped on it.”
After the expansion but before The Night Café could open, the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Adam said it challenged who he and Jenna were as entrepreneurs.
“So with COVID-19 and with 80 per cent of our business dropping off… We had to take some loans, which changed the way we operated as business people. It was tough,” said Adam. “What we believe in and what we can do wasn’t the same thing for a while.”
Adam expressed gratitude for all the support received from the community, including a “pile of commissions” that helped along the way.
“I just can’t say enough about the community and I don’t think we would have been as fortunate in a different place.”
Another struggle, admitted Adam, was deciding what to call their eatery. In the end, they settled on naming it after the Vincent van Gogh painting. Talking about this gets a laugh from Adam and Jenna. Van Gogh referred to his painting, The Night Café, as “one of the ugliest pictures I have done.”
“We battled with the idea of what the name could be and we loved the play on The Night Café… We’ve always been open at night so it kind of made sense.”
The Meikles said The Night Café’s menu will soon be expanding, as will the space, with a seasonal outdoor patio coming sometimes in the spring.
For more information, visit the meikle.studio website or Facebook page.