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Caboose Cafe Opens in Parker-Gray

Restaurant open just for breakfast and lunch, but dinner will be added at a later date.

The Caboose is open for business in Parker-Gray.

Rhoda Worku opened a second location of her popular Del Ray cafe on Tuesday morning at 1125 Queen St. in the building that previously housed .

The Cafe Nicole awning and sign remain for now. Worku said new Caboose signage would be installed soon.

“We’re ready to serve the community here,” Worku said. “It seems to be a really nice neighborhood.”

At the moment, the Caboose in Parker-Gray is open for just breakfast and lunch. The hours aren’t completely set, either, as Worku and staff sort our some of the details. She said she does plan to eventually open for dinner, offering the Ethiopian cuisine that’s become so popular at her .

“There’s a big demand for Ethiopian food, and we will have it,” she said.

Regular customers at the Caboose on Mt. Vernon Avenue will notice a lot of similar menu items. The Caboose in Parker-Gray is offering breakfast burritos, french toast, oatmeal, smoked salmon on a bagel, muffins and other pastries. Worku said the muffins and other items are baked at the Del Ray location and then shipped over to Parker-Gray.

The lunch menu includes different types of regular sandwiches, veggie sandwiches, paninis, quiche and salad. The Caboose also offers a short children’s menu with items like grilled cheese and peanut butter and jelly.

Worku did not have much to share as to why Cafe Nicole closed, only saying that "it didn't work out" and that she was asked if she wanted to open a second location of the Caboose at the Queen Street space. 

Doug August 08, 2012 at 05:35 PM
It's a bummer about Cafe Nicole's closing. But I rarely saw a lot of people in there. I wonder how Caboose plans on bringing in more traffic. Are any of the storefronts across Queen St available for lease? The thing about Del Ray, and the original Caboose's location, is that there were several dining options within 2 blocks. Queen and Fayette lacks that.
Nat August 08, 2012 at 06:14 PM
Oh Cafe Nicole closed is sad news, their food was wonderful! They better foot traffic and notice...when I frequented CN, they had been at the location for 3 years and I just discovered them!
Geoff Openshaw August 08, 2012 at 09:11 PM
I live in "Parker-Gray"? Who knew? Cafe Nicole was mediocre at best, even if the staff was entertaining. I live a block from it and I went there once because there was no compelling reason to spend my time there. I've loved Del Ray's Caboose, and I'm sure I'll frequent an Old Town location quite a bit. I understand the concerns about the sort of dead neighborhood, though. There are nothing but vagrants on that part of Queen St., and other than the pretty kick-a** Chinese place on Queen and Henry, there is very little else in the immediate radius to help boost traffic, quite unlike Del Ray.
Drew Hansen August 08, 2012 at 09:56 PM
Thanks for the comment, Geoff. If it helps, the Parker-Gray Historic District is a 40 block area sitting west of Washington Street extending north to south from First Street to Cameron Street and from east to west from Alfred Street to N. West Street.
City resident August 09, 2012 at 04:14 PM
At least one of the Nicole staff -- the woman who usually worked the counter -- is still there, now in a Caboose T-shirt. The original Caboose has had very little staff turnover in the last several years and Ms. Worku seems very nice, so I expect the Nicole staff will likely continue to be a fixture there, much like Sgt's old jukebox.

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