RICHMOND — Two restaurants are getting new lives in this riverfront town.

The Railway Cafe at 64 Main St., which closed abruptly before Christmas, will reopen on Jan. 24 as Kimberly’s Restaurant and Lounge.

The Village Cafe at 164 Main St. opened the day after Christmas in a space that had been occupied at one time by a Chinese restaurant and more recently by the Anything Go’s Cafe.

The women behind these businesses say they both have a lifelong interest in restaurants and are excited to be putting their own stamp on them.

For Kimberly Travis, who is taking over as manager at Kimberly’s, reopening the restaurant is a chance for her to see a lot of people she’s known over the years working in that same space.

Travis, 37, had worked for Chris and Therese Acord when they owned and ran the restaurant. When the Acords sold the business, Travis said she worked for the new owners for a time, too.

“This is something I have dreamed about since I was about 15,” she said, when she first started working in restaurants. “How can I not take the opportunity?”

Between now and the opening date, Travis said she has a lot of cleaning to do.

As the Railway Cafe, the restaurant served a selection of American food. Travis said Kimberly’s will serve the same type of food for breakfast, lunch and dinner, preserving the core of the traditional menu and adding some new dishes.

“We’re excited for Kim,” Chris Acord said. “We think she’ll do a fine job.”

Kimberly’s Restaurant and Lounge will be open Tuesday through Saturday from breakfast through dinner. On Sundays, the restaurant will close at 2. It will be closed on Mondays.

Susan Campbell credits Jack Baker with fueling her restaurant dream. Baker, who died at the beginning of November, had operated restaurants throughout his life, including Baker’s in Richmond.

“He was my mentor,” Campbell, 54, said. She worked for him at Baker’s for two years and followed him to the Golden Oldies Senior Center, helping him with the once-monthly senior breakfasts and senior dinners, eventually taking them over.

Like Travis, the restaurant bug bit her at 15 too, and nearly four decades later, after working her way up to managing and supervising, she has her own place.

The senior citizens who have praised her cooking encouraged her to open her own place.

“They approached me because they didn’t have a place to go that felt like home,” she said.

When the space became available, she went to work. Friends and family helped her over about six weeks to remake the space, painting the walls, adding curtains and building a counter that’s low enough so that senior citizens can sit there comfortably. They also cut a pass-through window in the wall separating the kitchen from the dining area so she can talk to her customers.

Campbell’s menu will also be a selection of traditional American food for both breakfast and lunch, and she’ll be serving breakfast all day.

Opening on the day after Christmas was a calculated move. She said she figured the holidays were done and people would be tired and looking for a place to eat, and it worked. She served 70 people that day.

Campbell said the Village Cafe is open 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Even though the restaurant opens at 6:30, she said, she has a group of customers who show up at 6 a.m. for coffee, which they have while they are waiting for her to open.

Jessica Lowell — 621-5632

[email protected]

Twitter: @JLowellKJ

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